The Inner Alchemy – Osho

Paripoorn chandra amrit rasaiki karanam naivedyam.

Accumulation of the nectar of the inner full moon is naivedya, the food offering.

You must have heard about the Taoist concept of yin and yang – the concept of polar opposites into one reality. Reality exists through polar opposites – through the positive and the negative, through the male and the female, through yin and yang.

Reality is a dialectical process. And when I say “dialectical process,” I mean it is not a simple process, it is very complex. A simple process means one element working; a dialectical process means two polar opposites working in one direction. And though they appear as opposites, they create a symphony – they create a musical harmony. And that harmony is reality.

Man and woman, they mean humanity. Man alone is not humanity, nor is woman alone humanity. Humanity – the music, the synthesis we call humanity – is a dialectical phenomenon. Man and woman both work to create humanity, they both help to create humanity. And the way of their creating it is dialectical. They exist as polar opposites, and the inner tension between the two creates the energy for movement, for a process of further growth.

It is the same on every plane. If we go deep down with the physicist to the atom’s inner structure, then again, we find two polar opposites working there: the negative electricity and the positive electricity. Because of these two polar opposites, matter is created. If there were only positive electricity, the world would disappear immediately. If there were only negative electricity, there would be nothing. But negative electricity and positive electricity create an inner tension, and because of that inner tension matter exists.

The same is the case with the inner being of man also. This sutra is concerned with that. We discussed how awareness creates an inner sun. But this sutra talks about the creation of an inner moon. The sun is symbolic of the inner positivity and the moon is symbolic of the inner negativity. The sun is the inner male and the moon is the inner female. These words are symbolic, and for Indian yoga, particularly, they are very meaningful. By “sun” the outer sun is not what is meant, nor by “moon” the outer moon. These two words “sun” and “moon” are used for the inner universe.

Indian yoga divides man into two parts: the sun part and the moon part. Even one breath is known as the sun breath and another breath is known as the moon breath. And, really, this is one of the deepest findings. If you stop the moon breath and just breathe from the sun breath, your body will become hot. And such a great heat can be created, simply by using only one kind of breath, that it seems inconceivable in physiological terms. Among Tibetans there exists a heat yoga in which breathing is done only through this sun breath, not using the moon breath at all.

Ordinarily the breath is continuously changing, but Western medical science has not yet taken note of it. Breathing is not a simple process. It is a dialectical process. You are changing your nostrils within each hour. Between forty and sixty minutes, approximately, your nostrils change, and you begin to take your breath from the other nostril; then again it changes. When you need more heat in the body – for example, if suddenly you become angry – your sun breath starts.

Yoga says that when you are angry, if you use your moon breath and stop the sun breath, you cannot be angry at all, because the moon breath creates a deep coolness inside. The whole body is divided between the sun and the moon, and the mind is also divided between the sun and the moon.

So look at man not as one, because nothing can exist as just one. Everything exists through duality. You are divided into two: you have a negative part and you have a positive part. The positive is known as the sun in Indian symbology and the negative as moon. The negative is cool, silent, still. The positive is hot, vibrant with energy, active. The sun is the active part in you and the moon the inactive part, and if the active and the inactive both come to a deep equilibrium you are suddenly enlightened. If one is more emphatic, you have an imbalance, but if both are of equal force, then they balance each other, negate each other, and the moment both are of equal force, your inner balance is regained, and you reach to a different reality – the reality of the non-dual. That one nondual reality can be felt only when both of these dualities in you are balanced. Then you transcend them.

In the world we exist as duality. Beyond the world we exist as non-duality, as one. Think of yourself as a triangle; two angles exist in the world and the third angle beyond the world. Two angles belong to this world and one angle belongs to that world – the world of the Brahman. But if these two are in an imbalance, you cannot go beyond them. You go beyond them only when they regain balance. This balancing is nirvana, this balancing is moksha, this balancing is the centering. Awareness works to balance this duality. And the moment this duality is balanced, you cannot be reborn again – you disappear from the world.

You can be born again and again only if there is an imbalance. If the balance comes to a totality, if the balance becomes total, it is impossible to be born again. You disappear from the world; the body cannot exist anymore. Then you cannot re-enter a body again. So first we will try to understand what this inner sun is and what this inner moon is, and how they are balanced.

This sutra says, “Accumulation of the nectar of the inner full moon is naivedya, the food offering.” You need a full moon in you to offer to the Divine as a food. That only can be the food for the Divine – a full moon inside.

Awareness works in a double way. It creates a sun, and it also creates a moon. We talked about how it creates a sun inside. When you become aware of whatsoever is happening in you, of the innermost unconscious activities, you become Enlightened. The very cells of your body become conscious; you become light. Your consciousness reaches to the very pores of your body. Just like the rays of the sun reach into the earth, your inner awareness, once awakened, begins to work in every cell of the body and every fiber, every nerve of the body. Your whole body is filled with light. But this is only one part of awareness, this is only one process of awareness. Rays from your center also go to your periphery, to the circumference. The more your rays go to the circumference, the cooler your center becomes.

I do not know whether you have heard of a particular theory about the sun – the outer sun; I do not know whether it is right or not, but it is meaningful in helping to understand the inner reality. They say the sun at its deepest center is the coolest spot in the solar system; it is not hot at all. The heat is only on the periphery, on the circumference, not in the inner center of the sun. Because of helium gas around the sun, heat is created; because of the helium and its chain explosion of atoms, heat is created, and then the heat spreads to the solar family.

The sun has a body, and it is the center. The solar family is the body, and the earth belongs to the body as a cell. The heat goes to the solar family, it spreads. But the sun in itself is a cold thing, absolutely cold, and at its deepest center, it is the coldest spot in existence. It should be so because reality exists in polarities. If the sun is the hottest thing, it must have something inside it which balances the heat. Take a wheel that is just moving on the street: the wheel moves, but in the center the hub on which it moves remains still. The movement must have something non-moving in the center, otherwise movement will not be possible.

In this world of manifestations, everything exists within polar opposites. You are alive because you have death inside. If you had no death inside, you could not be alive. So do not think that one day it suddenly happens that death comes to you. It is an inner growth. It is not something that you meet, that you encounter – no! It is something toward which you are daily growing. One day the growth is complete, and you are dead. It is an inner phenomenon. You are alive with a death center. You cannot be alive without a death center.

Nothing exists without its polar opposite. Life and death are just two positive and negative realities. So it looks logical, dialectical also, but it is not yet proved that the sun has at its center a cold spot, an absolutely cold spot, the polar opposite to the heat on its circumference. It may be true; it may not be true: that is irrelevant. But inside it is absolutely true. When you become aware, the heat begins to travel toward your circumference. Each cell of your body will become heated, warm, because of the awareness penetrating. The second counterpart will be that your center of being will become cooler and cooler and cooler. That is the moon working. The sun is the warmth spreading, the light spreading.

And you must know that light has two qualities – light and warmth. Heat is just concentrated light; light is nothing but dispersed heat. So when light travels to your body, every cell will become warm, enlightened, aware. Sleep is a cold thing; night is a cold thing. That is why we sleep in the night: it is a cold time. And in the morning, with the rising sun, everything becomes warm, alive. Then it is difficult to sleep and easy to be awake.

When your circumference is cold, when each body cell is cold, asleep, your center will be a hot spot. Because of that hot spot in the center, you will be sexual, you will be angry, you will be greedy, you will be everything. Your center will be in a fever. This heat begins to travel. Of course, when heat leaves your center, it spreads; and the more it spreads, the less it is heat and the more it is light.

The sunrays on the earth are life giving. They have travelled much. If you go nearer and nearer to them, they will become death giving, because then they will not be warm: then they will be just pure fire.

As it is, the whole-body structure is just cold. You feel heat only in anger, in sex, in desire, in passion. That is not light, but simply a feverish phenomenon. Because of this, sex is felt as a release – because you lose a certain quantity of heat, and you are relieved; you lose a certain quantity of fever, and you are released. [. . . . ]

In sex you are releasing a particular amount of energy. They say that in one sex act you release 120 calories of heat – 120 calories! It is the same if you run fast for one mile. Then you will release the same amount of calories – 120. That is why there is much talk about whether sex can help heart disease. It can help! It releases energy. For persons who are well fed, it helps to delay heart disease. It releases energy, but it is not a solution. It is just a temporary arrangement. It just creates a leakage in your system from which energy is released.

Any day that you are angry your whole body is heated. It becomes feverish. The center releases anger: energy comes to the periphery. Ordinarily it is cold. The periphery is cold ordinarily, and the center is hot. The reverse will be the case when awareness happens to you. When you meditate and go deep within, when you become aware of every activity, everything will take a turn – an about turn. Your periphery will not go into anger, not go into sex, not go into greed, not go into passion. It will lose its coldness – its sleepy coldness. It will become warm, alive and aware. And because this energy is released to the periphery every twenty-four hours continuously, you will not need any anger or any sex.

A Buddha doesn’t need anger. It is absolutely useless for him because the very energy system has changed. He is using his heat for light and you are using your light for heat. The same fuel can be used to burn your house and the same fuel can be used to light it. The fuel is the same, but the direction changes. The inner fuel, the inner energy, becomes fire – suicidal. It burns you down, and ultimately you are just ashes. In the end, when death comes near you, you are just ashes. Everything is burnt out because you used your energy not as a light, but as a fire.

It becomes fire if it is concentrated in the center and is released only temporarily, whenever it is overflowing. In a sudden shock it comes to the periphery and is released. This is a very chaotic state. You go on accumulating it inside. Then one day it is overflowing, and you have to throw it.

We go on rationalizing our actions. When you get angry you say that someone has made you angry. No, really, it is that you were ready: you were overflowing inside. You do not know this because you were not aware. You were overflowing with a certain amount of energy which was waiting to be released. When someone abuses you, insults you, and you become angry, you think that this person is creating anger in you.

No, this person is simply giving you a situation and opportunity to release the overflowing energy. In a way, he is your friend, a helper. If he is not there you will be in a very difficult situation. If no one is giving you any opportunity to throw your energy, you will project, you will imagine something, and you will get angry with anything at all.

People get angry with their shoes; they will throw them. They can get angry with the door; they become violent with it. They can be angry with everything. When no opportunity is given, they can even become angry with themselves. They will begin to harm themselves or they will create some substitutes. […]

If you have energy in the center which is feverish, not transferred to the periphery, not used as light for the whole body and for your whole being, this is bound to happen. Every day you will accumulate energy, and then you will have to throw it. And this is nonsense! For the whole life you are doing this: accumulating, throwing; accumulating, throwing. What are you doing twenty-four hours a day? Just accumulating energy to throw it. Then when energy is there, the only problem is how to throw it. So we throw it in sex, in anger, in greed. When energy is thrown, then the only problem is how to accumulate it.

What sort of life is this? A vicious circle. With awareness the whole mechanism changes. With awareness, every moment your inner center is sending its energy to every pore of your body. And your body is not a small thing. It is a miniature universe. As above, so below: everybody is a small universe. And when I say “small,” I feel guilty because, really, it is not small. It is as vast as the universe. But because of our language, there are problems. The universe appears vast and your body appears small.

What is the difference between the two? They say that if we can throw out all space from the earth, if we can compress it and throw out the space, if the vacant space in it is thrown out, our earth will be just like a small ball. If we can throw out all the empty space from the Himalayas, they can be put into a match box. The material is not much, the matter is not much. The matter is very small, only the emptiness in it is vast.

So how to judge whether a thing is big or small? A very small thing can be blown up to any bigness if we put space in it. If we put as much space into your body as there is in the earth, you will be like the earth. So all the differences are of spaces – empty spaces. No difference is there really.

But when I say, “a small universe,” I mean only this: that everything that exists in the universe exists in you also. Whatsoever may be the measure, exactly everything exists in you also. So when your solar center, your sun, releases energy, it releases it in two ways. Either you are unconscious: then it releases it into sex, anger, greed and other diseases. Or if you are conscious, through this consciousness, heat is transformed into light: then it is released as light. Then you are under a shower of light continuously. Your every pore, your every cell, is bathed. There is a continuous shower of light. When this happens, your inner center begins to become cooler and cooler and cooler, and ultimately it becomes the coldest spot.

Hindus have a myth that Shankara lives on Kailash. Kailash is the coldest mythological spot– the coldest peak, the highest peak – and it is always covered with snow. This is just a symbolic way of saying that you have the coldest spot – a Kailash – in you. But you can know it only when the heat is transformed into light – never before. And the more you become aware, the more heat is transformed into light, and you begin to feel a moon inside. You begin to feel a cool, silent pool.

This sutra says:

Accumulation of the nectar of the inner full moon . . .

In the beginning, of course, you will feel it and miss it. It is just like the first day’s moon. Then there is the second-day moon, the third-day moon. You feel it and it is gone; then it grows again; then comes the full-moon night. Just like this, this inner spot of coolness grows. As your consciousness grows, your heat is transformed into light. As your periphery becomes enlightened, as your each and every cell is filled with light and becomes aware and awake, this inner moon grows. Sometimes you feel it and sometimes you miss it. Sometimes there is an inner cool breeze, and you know something has happened inside. You feel it, but then you miss it again. Then it goes on growing. Ultimately, when there is no unconsciousness left and your total energy has become light, you come to know the full moon.

Buddha has talked about this full moon in negative terms because it is the negative pole. So Buddha says that when this inner silence is achieved, it is nirvana. The word is very meaningful in reference to this sutra. Nirvana means “cessation of the flame”: a lamp is burning and then the flame disappears.

When your heat is totally transformed into light, there is no flame. That is why the moon symbol is used. The moon has light but no flame. That is why its light is cool. It is without flame, without fire. Light is there without any flame. The flame has disappeared.

When one first becomes acquainted with the sun, the light becomes like a flame, burning, hot. So if you analyze the life, the inner life, of a Buddha or of a Jesus, or of a Mahavir, many things will become apparent which are ordinarily hidden. For example, whenever a person like Buddha is born, the early life will be very revolutionary, because the moment one enters the inside the first experience is a fiery flame. The more Buddha grows older, the more the inner coolness is felt, the more the moon becomes perfect. Revolution is lost: then Buddha’s words are not revolutionary.

Jesus couldn’t get this opportunity. He was killed when he was still a revolutionary. That is why, if you compare Buddha’s sayings with Jesus’ sayings, there is a clear-cut distinction and difference. Jesus’ sayings look like that of a young man – hot! Buddha’s early sayings are also like that, but he lived to be eighty. He was not killed.

There are reasons. And one reason is this: India always knew that this happens: whenever a person goes in, the first expression is fiery, revolutionary, rebellious. That is why India never killed anyone. That is why India could never behave as Greeks behaved with Socrates and Jews behaved with Jesus. India knew much. It has known many, many such persons. India knows it is natural that whenever a Buddha enters into himself the first experience will be revolutionary. He will burst open, explode into a fiery flame. But then the flame will disappear, and ultimately there will be only a moon – silent, cool, with no fire but only light.

Jesus was killed. That is why Christianity has still remained incomplete. Christianity was based on early Jesus – on Jesus when he was just a flame. That is why Christianity has remained incomplete. Buddhism is complete. It has known Buddha in all stages. It has known Buddha’s moon in all stages – from the first day to the full-moon light. This crucifixion has been unfortunate for the West. It has proved one of the greatest misfortunes in history that Jesus was killed when he was only thirty-three, just a flame. The flame would have turned into moonlight, but the opportunity was not given. And the reason was only this: that the Jews were not aware of the inner phenomenon.

India knew many, many Buddhas, and it is always the case that whenever someone enters in, he first sees the fire, the flame, and the revolutionary spirit comes up. But if one goes on in and in, it dissolves, and then there is only silence – a moonlight silence.

This sutra says, “Accumulation of the nectar of the inner full moon . . .” This silence, this cool silence of the moon, Hindus have called nectar, the amrit, the elixir. It is not to be found somewhere else. It is in you. This nectar is in you! Once you are established in this nectar, once you are in this pool of cool moonlight, then you are a full moon inside. Then you have known both the polarities. You have known life; you have known death. You have known the sun; you have known the moon. You have known both the polarities – life and death. And once you have known both you have transcended both. That is why it is called the nectar, amrit.

Now you will not die. Now you are drunk with elixir; you cannot die. But you will not be alive in the old sense either. You have died in the old sense; you are reborn in a new meaning. Now death will not be a death and life will not be a life. Now you will be beyond both. [. . . . ]

This inner phenomenon is beyond birth and death. It is never born and never will it die, because that which is born can die and that which is not born cannot die. Death needs birth as a prerequisite, as a necessary prerequisite. You cannot die if you are not born. With this inner phenomenon – when sun and moon are balanced, when the dialectical process is finished, when the synthesis is complete – you come to feel in yourself something which is eternal.

That is why this sutra says, “Accumulation of the nectar of the inner full moon is naivedya.” Now you have become food yourself. Now you can offer yourself to the Divine. Now you are food. Now you are eternal. And why is it called “food,” naivedya? Because when you are eternal, you can become food for the eternal. And by “food” the ordinary meaning is also implied. When you take food in, it becomes one with you. It becomes your blood, it becomes your bones, it becomes you: you are your food! So when you have come to know this inner reality, the eternal reality, you can offer it as food to the universe, to the existence.

By this is meant that now you can become the bones of the universe, you can become the blood of the universe. Now you can be one with it just like food becomes one with you. The meeting is complete because you have become food for the Divine. Then you are naivedya. Then the offering can be accepted.

But you cannot offer your body as the food. It will be food, but for the vultures, not for the Divine. This cannot be offered as food for the Divine. Your body comes out of the earth and goes back to the earth. It can only be eaten by the earth again: “Dust unto dust.” It can only return to dust, so this body cannot be offered to the Divine.

One young seeker came to Gautam Buddha. He said, “I have come to offer myself to you. Accept me.”

Buddha asked him, “What are you offering – your body? But that is already offered and the earth will claim it, so how can you offer it to me? What are you offering? Tell me exactly!”

The man was confused. He said, “Whatsoever I have, I offer to you.”

Buddha asked him, “What do you have? What is it that belongs to you? Do your thoughts belong to you? They belong to the society; your mind belongs to the society. Your body belongs to your parents, to the earth, to the sky, to water, to fire, to many things – to the five elements. What do you have that you can offer to me?”

The man could not answer because he had nothing else. He could not think of anything else, so Buddha said, “Do not offer now. First find out what you are. And the moment you find it, it is already offered. Then there is no need to offer.”

When you find the inner balance that is known from finding the sun and finding the moon, only when you know both, they balance each other, and in that balance you escape from duality. And then the third angle of the triangle is touched. For the first time you are above yourself: you are the inner self. Now you can look down at yourself – at your sun, your moon, your body, your soul, your positivity, your negativity, your male, your female. Now you can look down at yourself – at the whole world of duality, at multidimensional duality – and now you can become naivedya, the food offering.

But now there is no need even to offer: you have already offered. Now there is no need to ask to be accepted: you are already accepted. You are one. Just as food becomes one with you, you become one with the Divine. And by “Divine” I mean the Whole, the Totality, everything – the very Existence.

So what to do? Transform heat into light: that is the mantra: transform heat into light! Do not use heat as heat: use it as light. When you think anger is coming to you, close your eyes and meditate on what anger is. Dig deep inside and find out the source from where it is coming. What we are doing ordinarily is just the opposite. When we get angry, we begin to think about the object of anger, about who has created it, and not of the source of anger, from where it is coming. When you get angry, close your eyes. This is the right moment to meditate.

Close your eyes, go in, and find out from where this anger is coming. Follow it to the very source. Go deep, and you will come to the source of heat from where the accumulated energy is bursting forth to go out.

Observe it; do not indulge in it – because if you indulge in it, it will be thrown out without being transformed. And do not suppress it – because if you suppress it, it will be thrown back to the original source which is overflowing. It cannot absorb it. It will be thrown back again with a more forceful movement. So do not suppress it and do not indulge in it. Just be conscious. Move inward to the source. This very movement slows down the process; this very observation transforms the quality of anger, because this calm observation is an antidote.

Anger and calm observation are different phenomena. When this calm observation enters into anger, it changes the energy, the very chemical composition of it, and the heat becomes light. That is the change: heat becomes light! Then the anger is neither thrown back to the original source which cannot contain it because it is overflowing, nor is it thrown to the object in a wastage, a foolish wastage. Then this energy neither moves out to the object of anger, nor is it suppressed back to the original source. With observation this energy becomes diffused. It moves to the periphery of your body as light. When diffused, it moves as light, and the very anger becomes ojas, the very anger becomes a light, an inner light.

So do not be disturbed and disappointed if you have much anger. That only shows you have much energy. A person born without anger cannot be transformed. He has no energy. So be happy that you have energy, but do not misuse it. Energy can be misused; it can be transformed. Energy in itself is neutral. It will not tell you what to do with it – you have to decide. This is the secret science of inner alchemy – to change heat into light, to change coal into diamonds, to change baser elements into gold.

These are just symbols. Alchemists were not really concerned with changing baser metals into higher metals, but they had to hide and they had to make an esoteric, secret symbology, because it was very difficult in past ages to talk about the inner science and not be murdered or killed. Jesus was killed: he was an alchemist. And the Christianity that developed, that followed Jesus, went quite against him. The Christian Church began to kill and murder those who were again trying alchemy.

This word “alchemy” is very beautiful. Our “chemistry” is born out of alchemy. The word “chemistry” comes from “alchemy,” but “alchemy” itself is a very deep and significant word. The word “alchemy” comes from Egypt. The old name of Egypt was “Khem” and “Al Khem” means “the secret science of Egypt.” The Egyptians were deep in the alchemy of inner transformation, in how to transform the inner chemistry. [. . . . ]

This process is alchemical. Observe anger, and anger is transformed into light. Observe sex, and sex is transformed into light. Observe any inner phenomenon which creates heat. Observe it, and through observation it becomes light. And if your every heat phenomenon is transformed into light, you will come to feel the inner moon. And when there is no heat left, then you have accumulated the nectar of the full moon.

And through this nectar you become immortal. Not in this body, not with this body: you become immortal because you transcend life and death both.

Then you are naivedya: then you are a food offering to the Divine – to the Total.

-Osho

From The Ultimate Alchemy, V.2, Discourse #5

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

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Awareness is the Technique for Centering Oneself – Osho

Chidagni swaroopam dhoopah.

To create the fire of awareness in oneself is dhoopthe incense.

For philosophy, many are the problems – infinite. But for religion there is only one problem, and that problem is man himself. It is not that man has problems, but man is the problem. And why is man the problem?

Animals are not problems. They are so unconscious, blissfully unconscious, ignorant that there is no possibility of there being any awareness of problems. Problems are there, but animals are not aware. There are no problems for gods because they are totally conscious. When the mind is a total consciousness, problems simply disappear like darkness. But for man there is anguish. The very being of man, the very existence of man, is a problem, because man exists between these two realms: the realm of the animals and the realm of the gods.

Man exists as a bridge between two infinities: the infinity of ignorance and the infinity of knowledge. Man is neither animal nor Divine. Or, man is both – animal and Divine; that is the problem. Man is a suspended existence – something incomplete, something which is still to be – a becoming, not a being.

Animals have beings. Man is a becoming. He is not; he is only becoming. Man is a process. The process is incomplete. It has left the world of ignorance and it has not reached the world of knowledge. Man is in between. That creates the problem, the tension, the anguish and the constant conflict.

There are only two ways to be at peace, to be without problems: one is to fall back, to regress, to fall back to the world of animals; the other is to transcend, to go forward and to be a part of the Divine Being. To be either animals or gods: these are the two alternatives.

To fall back is easy, but it is going to be a temporary thing – because once you have grown you cannot fall back permanently. You can regress for a moment, but then you are again thrown forward, because there really is no way to go back. There is really no possibility of falling back. You cannot be a child again if you have become a young adult, and you cannot become young again if you have become old. If you know something, then you cannot fall back to the state when you were ignorant. You cannot go back, but for a moment you can forget the present and relive the past in your memory, in your mind.

So man can regress to the animal level. It is blissful, but temporary. That is the reason why intoxicants, drugs, alcohol, have such an appeal. When you become unconscious through some chemical, you have fallen back for a moment. For the time being you are not a man, you are not a problem. You are again part of the world of animals, the unconscious existence. Then you are not a man; that is why there are no problems.

Humanity has been constantly finding things from soma rasa to LSD in order to forget, to regress, to be just childlike, to regain the animal innocence, to be without problems: that is, to be without humanity, because to me humanity means to be a problem. This falling back, this regression, is possible, but only temporarily. You will come back again, you will be a man again, and the same problems will be standing and waiting for you. Rather, they will be more acute. Your absence is not going to dissolve them. They will become more complicated and complex. Then a vicious circle is created.

When you are again back and conscious, you have to face problems which have become more complicated because of your absence. They have grown. Then you have to forget yourself again and again, and every time you forget and regress, your problems are growing: you will have to face your humanity again and again. One cannot escape that way. One can deceive oneself, but one cannot escape that way.

The other alternative is arduous: that is, to grow to be a being. When I say “regress,” I mean to become unconscious – to lose the small consciousness that we have. When I say “to be a Being,” I mean to lose unconsciousness and to be totally conscious.

As we are, only a part is conscious – only a very small fragment of the Being is conscious – and the remaining whole continent is just dark. A small island is conscious, and the whole continent, the mainland, is under darkness. When this small island also becomes dark, you have regressed, you have fallen back. This ignorance is blissful because now you are not aware of the problems. Problems are there, but you are not aware. So at least for you it appears there are no problems.

This is the ostrich method: close your eyes, and your enemy is not there because when you cannot see – this childish, juvenile logic says that when you cannot see something – it is not: unless you see something it is not. So if you cannot feel problems they are not there!

When I say “to be a Being,” to transcend humanity, to become Divine, I mean to be totally conscious – to be not only an island, but the whole continent. This awareness will also lead you beyond problems because problems are there basically because of you. Problems are not objective realities: they are subjective phenomena. You create your problems! And unless you are transformed, you will go on creating problems. You solve one, and really, in solving that one, you will create many because you remain the same. Problems are not objective things. They are part of you. Because you are such, you create such problems.

Science tries to solve problems objectively, and science thinks that if there are no problems man will be at ease. Problems can be solved objectively, but man will not be at ease – because man himself is the problem. If he solves some problem, he will create others. He is their creator. If you give a better society, the problems will change, but problems will remain. If you give better health, better medicine, the problems will change, but problems will remain.

Quantitatively, there will be as many problems as ever because man remains the same; only the situation changes. You change the situation: old problems will not be there, but there will be new problems. And new problems are more problematic than any old problems because you have become accustomed to old problems. With new problems you feel more inconvenience. That is why, in our times, we have changed our whole situation, but problems are there – more fatal, more anxiety creating.

That is the difference between religion and science. Science thinks problems are objective, from outside somewhere – that they can be changed without changing you. Religion thinks problems are here inside, in me – rather, that I am the problem. Unless I change, nothing is going to be different. Shapes will be different, names will be different, but the substance will remain the same. I will create another world of problems; I will go on projecting new problems.

This man, unconscious to his own being, unaware of himself, is the creator of problems. Not knowing who he is, what he is, without any acquaintance with himself, he goes on creating problems – because unless you know yourself you cannot know for what you are existing and living, you cannot know where you have to move, you cannot feel what your destiny is, and you can never feel any meaning. You will go on doing many things, but everything will ultimately lead you to frustration – because if you do anything without knowing why you are, for what you are, it is not going to give you a deep contentment. It is irrelevant. The very point is missed, your effort is wasted.

And, ultimately, everyone is frustrated. Those who succeed are more frustrated than those who are not successful because those who are not successful can still hope. But those who are successful cannot even hope. Their case becomes hopeless. So I say nothing fails like success.

Religion thinks in terms of subjectivity, science in terms of objectivity: “Change the situation; do not touch the man.” Religion says, “Change the man; the situation is irrelevant.” Whatsoever the situation, a different mind, a transformed being, will be beyond problems. That is why a Buddha can exist in absolute peace as a beggar, and a Midas cannot live at peace even when he has the alchemical miracle with him: whatsoever he touches becomes gold. The situation with Midas has become golden; everything he touches becomes gold. But this doesn’t change anything. Rather, Midas is in a more complicated problematic situation.

Now our world has created, through science, a Midas situation. Now we can touch anything and it becomes gold. A Buddha living as a beggar lives, in such a deep peace and silence that emperors become jealous of him. What is the secret? The emphasis on man – the inside of man – is significant, not the situation. So you must change the inside of man. And there is only one change: if you grow in your awareness, you change, you mutate. If you fall down in your awareness, again you change, you mutate. But if your awareness is lessened, you fall down toward animals. If your awareness is increased, you move up toward the gods.

This is the only problem for religion: how to increase awareness. That is why religions have always been against drugs. The reason is not moral or ethical – no! And the so-called moralist puritans have given a very wrong color to the whole thing. For religions, it is not a question of morality that someone takes drugs. It is not a question of morality at all because morality only begins when I come in contact with someone else.

If I take alcohol and become unconscious, it is no one else’s affair. I am doing something with myself. Violence is a question for morality, not alcohol. Even if I give you a promise to meet you at a particular time and I miss it, it is immoral because somebody else is involved. Alcohol can become a moral question only if someone else is involved, otherwise it is not a moral question at all. It is something you do with yourself. For religions it is not a question of morality at all. For religions it is a deeper question: it is a question of increasing or decreasing awareness.

Once you have the habit of falling down into unconsciousness, it will be more and more difficult to increase your awareness. It will become more and more difficult because your body will not support you in increasing awareness. It will support you in decreasing it. The very metabolism of your body will help you to be unconscious. It will not help you to be conscious. And anything that becomes a barrier in being more aware is a religious problem, not a moral problem.

So sometimes it happens that you may find an alcoholic to be a more moral person than a nonalcoholic, but never a more religious person. An alcoholic may be more compassionate than a nonalcoholic; he may be more loving than a non-alcoholic, he may be more honest, but never more religious. And when I say “never more religious,” I mean never a more aware and conscious person.

This growth into awareness creates anguish. […]

You can feel more life, you can be more blissful, but you will become aware of death. You will be more blissful, but in the same proportion you will have to suffer anguish.

This is the problem, this is what man is – a deep anguish, a deep division between two polarities. You can feel life, but when death is there everything is poisoned. When death is there, every moment everything is poisoned. How can you be alive when death is there? How can you feel blissful when suffering is there?

And even if a moment of happiness comes to you, it is fleeting. And when the moment is there, even then you are aware that somewhere behind the unhappiness is there, misery is there, hiding. It will come up soon – sooner or later. So even a moment of happiness is poisoned by your consciousness that somewhere unhappiness is hidden, is coming near. It is just by the corner, and you will have to meet it.

Man becomes conscious of the future, conscious of the past, conscious of life, conscious of death. Kierkegaard has called this consciousness “anguish.” You can fall back, but that is a temporary measure. Again you will come up. So the only possibility is to grow – to grow in knowledge to a point from where you can jump out of it, because the jump is possible only from the extremes. One extreme we have: to fall back. We can do it, but it is impossible because we cannot remain in it. We are thrown forward again and again. The other possibility is that if we grow in awareness, there is a point when you are totally aware, where you transcend. […]

This sutra is concerned with awareness: “To create the fire of awareness in oneself is the incense” – to create the fire of awareness in oneself! First it must be understood what is meant by awareness. You are walking; you are aware of many things: of the shops, of people passing by you, of the traffic, of everything. You are aware of many things, only unaware of one thing: yourself. You are walking on the street: you are aware of many things; you are only not aware of yourself! This awareness of the self, Gurdjieff has called “self-remembering.” Gurdjieff says, “Constantly, wherever you are, remember yourself.”

For example, you are here. You are listening to me, but you are not aware of the listener. You may be aware of the speaker, but you are not aware of the listener. Be aware of the listener. Feel yourself here; you are here. For a moment a glimpse comes, and again you forget. Try!

Whatsoever you are doing, go on doing one thing inside continuously: be aware of yourself doing it. You are eating: be aware of yourself. You are walking: be aware of yourself. You are listening, you are speaking: be aware of yourself. When you are angry, be aware that you are angry. In the very moment that anger is there, be aware that you are angry. This constant remembering of the self creates a subtle energy – a very subtle energy in you. You begin to be a crystallized being.

Ordinarily, you are just a loose bag. No crystallization, no center really – just a liquidity, just a loose combination of many things without any center – a crowd, constantly shifting and changing, with no master inside. By awareness is meant be a master! And when I say, “Be a master,” I do not mean to be a controller. When I say, “Be a master,” I mean be a presence – a continuous presence. Whatsoever you are doing or not doing, one thing must be constantly in your consciousness: that you are.

This simple feeling of oneself, that one is, creates a center – a center of stillness, a center of silence, a center of inner mastery – an inner power. And when I say, “an inner power,” I mean it literally. That is why this sutra says, “the fire of awareness.” It is a fire. It is a fire! If you begin to be aware, you begin to feel a new energy in you – a new fire, a new life. And because of this new life, new power, new energy, many things which were dominating you just dissolve. You have not to fight with them.

You have to fight with your anger, your greed, your sex, because you are weak. So, really, greed, anger and sex are not the problems. Weakness is the problem. Once you begin to be stronger inside, with a feeling of inner presence that you are, your energies become concentrated, crystallized on a single point, and a Self is born. Remember, not an ego but a Self is born. Ego is a false sense of Self. Without having any Self, you go on believing that you have a Self. That is ego. Ego means a false self. You are not a Self, and still you believe that you are a Self. […]

Ego is a false notion of something which is not there at all.

“Self” means a center.

This center is created by being continuously aware, constantly aware. Be aware that you are doing something – that you are sitting, that now you are going to sleep, that now sleep is coming to you, that you are falling. Try to be conscious in every moment, and then you will begin to feel that a center is born within you, things have begun to crystallize, a centering is there. Everything now is related to a center.

We are without centers. Sometimes we feel centered, but those are moments when a situation makes you aware. If there is suddenly a situation, a very dangerous situation, you will begin to feel a center in you because in danger you become aware. If someone is going to kill you, you cannot think in that moment, you cannot be unconscious in that moment. Your whole energy is centered, and that moment becomes solid. You cannot move to the past; you cannot move to the future. This very moment becomes everything. And then you are not only aware of the killer: you become aware of yourself – the one who is being killed.

In that subtle moment you begin to feel a center in yourself. That is why dangerous games have their appeal. Ask someone going to the top of Gourishanker, of Mount Everest. When for the first time Hillary was there, he must have felt a sudden center. And when for the first time someone was on the moon, a sudden feeling of a center must have come. That is why danger has appeal. You are driving a car and you go on to more and more speed, and then the speed becomes dangerous. Then you cannot think; thoughts cease. Then you cannot dream. Then you cannot imagine. Then the present becomes solid. In that dangerous moment, when any instant death is possible, you are suddenly aware of a center in yourself. Danger has appeal only because in danger you sometimes feel centered.

Nietzsche somewhere says that war must continue because only in war is a Self sometimes felt – a center is felt – because war is danger. And when death becomes a reality, life becomes intense. When death is just near, life becomes intense, and you are centered. But in any moment when you become aware of yourself, there is a centering. But if it is situational, then when the situation is over it will disappear.

It must not be just situational. It must be inner. So try to be aware in every ordinary activity. When sitting on your chair, try it: be aware of the sitter. Not only of the chair, not only of the room, of the surrounding atmosphere, be aware of the sitter. Close your eyes and feel yourself; dig deep and feel yourself. […]

Lin-chi was lecturing one morning, and someone suddenly asked, “Just answer me one question: Who am I?”

Lin-chi got down and went to the man. The whole hall became silent. What was he going to do? It was a simple question. He should have answered from his seat. He reached the man. The whole hall was silent. Lin-chi stood before the questioner looking into his eyes. It was a very penetrating moment. Everything stopped. The questioner began to perspire. Lin-chi was just staring into his eyes.

And then Lin-chi said, “Do not ask me. Go inside and find out who is asking. Close your eyes. Do not ask, ‘Who am I?’ Go inside and find out who is asking, who is this questioner inside. Forget me. Find out the source of the question. Go deep inside!”

And it is reported that the man closed his eyes, became silent and suddenly he was an Enlightened One. He opened his eyes, laughed, touched the feet of Lin-chi and said, “You have answered me. I have been asking everyone this question and many answers were given to me, but nothing proved to be an answer. But you have answered me.”

“Who am I?” How can anyone answer it?

But in that particular situation – a thousand persons silent, a pin-drop silence – Lin-chi came down with strained eyes and then just ordered the man, “Close your eyes, go inside and find out who the questioner is. Do not wait for my answer. Find out who has asked.”

And the man closed his eyes. What happened in that situation? He became centered. Suddenly he was centered, suddenly he became aware of the innermost core.

This has to be discovered, and awareness means the method to discover this innermost core. The more unconscious you are, the further away you are from yourself. The more conscious, the nearer you reach to yourself. If the consciousness is total, you are at the center. If the consciousness is less, you are near the periphery. When you are unconscious, you are on the periphery where the center is completely forgotten.

So these are the two possible ways to move. You can move to the periphery; then you move to unconsciousness. Sitting at a film, sitting somewhere listening to music, you can forget yourself; then you are on the periphery. Even listening to me, you can forget yourself. Then again you are on the periphery. Reading the Gita or the Bible or the Koran, you can forget yourself. Then you are on the periphery. Whatsoever you do, if you can remember yourself then you are nearer to the center. Then someday, suddenly you are centered. Then you have energy.

That energy, this sutra says, is the fire. The whole life, the whole existence, is energy, is fire. Fire is the old name; now they call it electricity. Man has been labelling it with many, many names, but fire is good. Electricity seems a little bit dead; fire looks more alive.

This inner fire, the sutra says, is the incense. When someone is going to worship, you take some incense, dhoop, with you. That dhoop, that incense, is useless unless you have come with your inner fire as the incense.

This Upanishad is trying to give inner meanings to outer symbols. Every symbol has an inner counterpart. The outer is good in itself, but it is not enough. And it is only symbolic; it is not the substance. It shows something, but it is not the real. You must have seen incense. It is burning everywhere in temples. It is good in itself, but it is only an outer symbol. An inner fire is needed. And just as incense gives a perfume, the inner fire also gives it.

It is said that wherever Mahavir moved, everyone would feel his presence as a subtle perfume. That has been said about many persons. It is possible! The more you are centered inside, the more your whole presence becomes a perfume. And those who have the receptivity, they will feel it.

So enter a temple, not with outer incense, but with inner incense. And this inner incense can be achieved only through awareness. There is no other way. Act mindfully. It is a long, arduous journey and it is difficult to be aware even for a single moment. The mind is constantly flickering. But it is not impossible. It is arduous, it is difficult, but it is not impossible. It is possible! For everyone it is possible. Only effort is needed – and a wholehearted effort. Nothing should be left: nothing should be left inside untouched. Everything should be sacrificed for awareness. Only then is the inner flame discovered. It is there.

If one goes to find out the essential unity between all the religions that have existed or that may exist ever, then this single word “awareness” can be found.

Jesus tells a story:

A master of a big house has gone out, and he has told his servants to be constantly alert – because any moment he can come back. So for twenty-four hours they have to be alert. Any moment the master can come – any moment! There is no fixed moment, no fixed day, no fixed date. If there is a fixed date, then you can sleep, then you can do whatsoever you like, and you can be alert only on that particular date because then the master is coming. But the master has said, “I will come at any moment. Day and night you have to be alert to receive me.”

This is the parable of life. You cannot postpone. Any moment the Divine may just come; any moment the master may come. One has to be alert continuously. No date is fixed; nothing is known about when that sudden happening will be there. One can do only one thing: be alert and wait!

Rabindranath has written a poem, “The King of the Night.” It is a very deep parable.

There was a great temple with one hundred priests, and one day the chief priest dreamt that the Divine Guest was to come that night – the Divine Guest for whom they had been waiting and waiting. For centuries the temple had been waiting for the King to come, the Divine King to come. The deity of the temple was to come!

But the chief priest was in doubt: “It may be just a dream. And if it is just a dream, then everyone will laugh. But who knows? – it may be true. It may be a true intimation.”

The chief priest brooded that morning over whether to tell it to others or not. Then he became afraid. It may be time! So, then, in the afternoon, he told it. He gathered all the priests, closed all the doors of the temple, and said to them, “Do not go out and do not tell anyone! It may be just a dream; no one knows. But I have dreamt it, and the dream was so real. In the dream, the deity, the King of this temple, said, ‘I am coming tonight. Be ready!’ So we have to be alert. This night we cannot go to sleep.”

So they decorated the whole temple; they cleaned the whole temple; they made every arrangement to receive the Guest. And then they waited. Then, by and by, doubts began to arise. Then someone said, “This is nonsense. This was just a dream, and we are wasting our sleep.”

Half the night passed, then more doubts began to arise. Then someone rebelled and said, “I am going to sleep. This is nonsense. The whole day is wasted, and still we are waiting. No one is to come!” Then many supported him. Many laughed: “It is just a dream, so why pay so much attention to it!”

Then even the chief priest yielded and said, “It may have been just a dream. How can I say that it was real? We may be just stupid, foolish, just following a dream.”

So they said, “Only one person should wait at the gate and all the rest can go to sleep. If someone comes, he will inform us.”

Ninety-nine priests went to sleep, and the only priest who was appointed said, “When ninety-nine think that this is just a dream, why should I waste my sleep? And if the Divine Guest is to come, let him come. He will come in a great chariot, so there will be much noise, and everyone will be awakened.” He closed the doors, then he also fell asleep.

Then the chariot came, and the wheels of the chariot created much noise. Then someone who had been asleep said, “It seems the King is coming. It seems the wheels of the chariot are making much noise.” Someone else who was just going to sleep said, “Do not waste time; no one is coming. This is not the chariot. These are just clouds in the sky.”

And then the Guest came and knocked at the door. Someone again said, in his sleep, “It seems someone has come and is knocking at the door.”

So the chief priest himself said, “Now go to sleep. Do not go on disturbing again and again. No one is knocking at the door. It is just the wind.”

In the morning they were weeping and crying because the chariot had come in the night. There were marks on the street and the Divine Guest had come up to the door and knocked. There were footmarks on the dust, on the steps.

There are many parables. Buddha and Mahavir have told many stories with only one essential idea – that Enlightenment is at any time, at any moment, possible. It can happen any moment. One has to be alert and conscious and aware.

This parable of “The King of the Night” is not just a parable. It is real. We all are interpreting things in that way, and all our interpretations are just rationalizations of our sleep and for our sleep. We say, “It is nothing but the wind, it is nothing but the clouds.” Then we can sleep at ease. We go on denying religion, we go on denying anything that will break our sleep. We rationalize that there is no God, that there is no religion, that there is nothing – nothing but wind, nothing but clouds. Then we can sleep at ease, comfortably.

If there is a God, if there is Divinity, if there is a possibility of something higher than we are, then we cannot sleep so conveniently. Then we will have to be alert and awake and struggling, making efforts and endeavoring. Then transformation becomes our immediate concern.

Awareness is the technique for centering oneself, for achieving the inner fire. It is there hidden; it can be discovered. And once it is discovered, then only are we capable of entering the temple – not before, never before.

But we can deceive ourselves by symbols. Symbols are to show deeper realities to us, but we can use them as deceptions. We can burn an outer incense, we can worship with outer things, and then we feel at ease that we have done something. We can feel ourselves religious without becoming religious at all. That is what is happening; that is what the earth has become. Everyone thinks they are religious just because they are following outer symbols, with no inner fire.

Make efforts even if you are a failure. You will be in the beginning. You will fail again and again, but even your failure will help. When you fail to be aware for a single moment, you feel for the first time how unconscious you are.

Walk down the street, and you cannot walk a few steps without becoming unconscious. Again and again, you forget yourself. You begin to read a signboard, and you forget yourself. Someone passes, you look at him, then you forget yourself.

Your failures will be helpful. They can show you how unconscious you are. And even if you can become aware that you are unconscious, you have gained a certain awareness. If a madman becomes aware that he is mad, he is on the path toward sanity.

-Osho

From The Ultimate Alchemy, V.2 #1

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

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The Light of Awareness – Osho

We feel that to penetrate and transform the deeper layers of the unconscious only through awareness is difficult and not enough. What else should one do other than the practice of awareness? Please explain more about the practical dimensions of this matter.

The unconscious can be transformed only through awareness. It is difficult, but there is no other way. There are many methods for being aware, but awareness is necessary. You can use methods to be aware, but you will have to be aware.

If someone asks whether there is any method to dispel darkness except by light, howsoever difficult it may be, that is the only way – because darkness is simply the absence of light. So you have to create the presence of light, and then darkness is not there.

Unconsciousness is nothing but an absence – the absence of consciousness. It is not something positive in itself, so you cannot do anything except be aware. If unconsciousness were something in its own right, then it would be a different matter – but it is not. Unconsciousness doesn’t mean something; it only means not consciousness. It is just an absence. It has no existence in itself; in itself it is not. The word “unconscious” simply shows the absence of consciousness and nothing else. When we say “darkness” the word is misleading, because the moment we say “darkness” it appears that darkness is something that is there. It is not, so you cannot do anything with darkness directly – or can you?

You may not have observed the fact, but with darkness you cannot do anything directly. Whatsoever you want to do with darkness you will have to do with light, not with darkness. If you want darkness, then put off light. If you don’t want darkness, then put on light. But you cannot do anything directly with darkness; you will have to go via light.

Why? Why can you not go directly? You cannot go directly because there is nothing like darkness, so you cannot touch it directly. You have to do something with light, and then you have done something with darkness.

If light is there, then darkness is not there. If light is not there, then darkness is there. You can bring light into this room, but you cannot bring darkness. You can take light out from this room, but you cannot take darkness out from this room. There exists no connection between you and darkness. Why? If darkness were there, then man could be related somehow, but darkness is not there.

Language gives you a fallacy that darkness is something. Darkness is a negative term. It exists not. It connotes only that light is not there – nothing more – and the same is with unconsciousness. So when you ask what to do other than to be aware, you ask an irrelevant question. You will have to be aware; you cannot do anything else.

Of course, there are many methods for being aware – mm? – that is a different thing. There are many ways to create light – but light will have to be created. You can create a fire and there will be no darkness. And you can use a kerosene lamp and there will be no darkness, and you can use electricity and there will be no darkness. But whatsoever the case, whatsoever the method of producing light, light has to be produced.

So light is a must, and whatsoever I will say in reference to this question will be about methods to produce awareness. They are not alternatives, remember. They are not alternatives to awareness – nothing can be. Awareness is the only possibility for dispelling darkness, for dispelling unconsciousness. But how to create awareness? I talked about one method which is the purest: to be aware inside of whatsoever happens on the boundary line of the unconscious and of the conscious – to be aware there.

Anger is there. Anger is produced in darkness; anger has roots in the unconscious. Only branches and leaves come into the conscious. Roots, seeds, the energy source, are in the unconscious. You become aware only of faraway branches. Be conscious of these branches. The more conscious you are, the more you will be capable of looking into darkness.

Have you observed at any time that if you look deeply in darkness for a certain time, a certain dim light begins to be there? If you concentrate in darkness, you begin to feel and you begin to see. You can train yourself, and then in darkness itself there is a certain amount of light – because, really, in this world nothing can be absolute, and nothing is. Everything is relative. When we say “darkness,” it doesn’t mean absolute darkness. It only means that there is less light. If you practice to see in it, you will be capable of seeing. Look! Focus yourself in the darkness! And then, by and by, your eyes are strengthened and you begin to see.

Inner darkness, unconsciousness, is the same. Look into it. But you can look only if you are not active. If you begin to act, your mind is distracted. Don’t act inside. Anger is there – don’t act, don’t condemn, don’t appreciate, don’t indulge in it, and don’t suppress it. Don’t do anything – just look at it! Observe it! Understand the distinction.

What happens ordinarily is quite the reverse. If you are angry, then your mind is focused on the cause of anger outside – always! Someone has insulted you – you are angry. Now there are three things: the cause of anger outside, the source of anger inside, and in between these two you are. Anger is your energy inside, the cause which has provoked your energy to come up is outside, and you are in between. The natural way of the mind is not to be aware of the source, but to be focused on the cause outside. Whenever you are angry you are in deep concentration on the cause outside.

Mahavir has called krodha – anger – a sort of meditation. He has named it roudra dhyan – meditation on negative attitudes. It is! – because you are concentrated. Really, when you are in deep anger you are so concentrated that the whole world disappears. Only the cause of anger is focused. Your total energy is on the cause of anger, and you are so much focused on the cause that you forget yourself completely. That’s why in anger you can do things about which, later on, you can say, “I did them in spite of myself.” You were not.

For awareness you have to take an about-turn. You have to concentrate not on the cause outside, but on the source inside. Forget the cause. Close your eyes, and go deep and dig into the source. Then you can use the same energy which was to be wasted on someone outside . . . the energy moves inwards. Anger has much energy. Anger is energy, the purest of fires inside. Don’t waste it outside.

Take another example. You are feeling sexual: sex is again energy, fire. But whenever you feel sexual, again you are focused on someone outside, not on the source. You begin to think of someone – of the lover, of the beloved, A-B-C-D – but when you are filled with sex your focus is always on the other. You are dissipating energy. [. . .]

Science is more concerned with the cause and religion is more concerned with the source. The source is always inside; the cause is always outside. With cause you are in a chain reaction. With cause you are connected with your environment. With source you are connected with yourself. So remember this. This is the purest method to change unconscious energy into conscious energy. Take an about-turn – look inside! It is going to be difficult because our look has become fixed. We are like a person whose neck is paralyzed and who cannot move and look back. Our eyes have become fixed. We have been looking outside for lives together – for millennia – so we don’t know how to look inside.

Do this: whenever something happens in your mind, follow it to the source. Anger is there – a sudden flash has come to you – close your eyes, meditate on it. From where is this anger arising? Never ask the question: who has made it possible? Who has made you angry? That is a wrong question. Ask which energy in you is transforming into anger – from where is this anger coming up, bubbling up? What is the source inside from where this energy is coming?

Are you aware that in anger you can do something which you cannot do when you are not in anger? A person in anger can throw a big stone easily. When he is not angry he cannot even lift it. He has much energy when he is angry. A hidden source is now with him. So if a man is mad, he becomes very strong. Why? From where is this energy coming? It is not coming from anything outside. Now all his sources are burning simultaneously – anger, sex, everything, is burning simultaneously. Every source is available.

Be concerned with from where anger is bubbling up, from where the sex desire has come in. Follow it, take steps backwards. Meditate silently and go with anger to the roots. It is difficult but it is not impossible. It is not easy. It is not going to be easy because it is a fight against a long, rooted habit. The whole past has to be broken, and you have to do something new which you have never done before. It is just the weight of sheer habit which will create the difficulty. But try it, and then you are creating a new direction for energy to move. You are beginning to be a circle, and in a circle energy is never dissipated.

My energy comes up and moves outside – it can never become a circle now – it is simply dissipated. If my movement inwards is there, then the same energy which was going out turns upon itself. My meditation leads this energy back to the same source from where the anger was coming. It becomes a circle. This inner circle is the strength of a Mahavir. The sex energy, not moving to someone else, moves back to its own source. This circle of sex energy is the strength of a buddha.

We are weaklings, not because we have less energy than a buddha: we have the same quanta of energy, everyone is born with the same energy quanta, but we are accustomed to dissipating it. It simply moves away from us and never comes back. It cannot come back! Once it is out of you, it can never come back – it is beyond you.

A word arises in me: I speak it out; it has flown away. It is not going to come back to me, and the energy that was used in producing it, that was used in throwing it away, is dissipated. A word arises in me: I don’t throw it out; I remain silent. Then the word moves and moves and moves, and falls into the original source again. The energy has been reconsumed.

Silence is energy. Brahmacharya is energy. Not to be angry is energy. But this is not suppression. If you suppress anger, you have used energy again. Don’t suppress – observe and follow. Don’t fight – just move backwards with the anger. This is the purest method of awareness.

But certain other things can be used. For beginners, certain devices are possible. So I will talk about three devices. One type of device is based on body awareness. Forget anger, forget sex – they are difficult problems. And when you are in them, you become so mad that you cannot meditate. When you are angry you cannot meditate; you cannot even think about meditation. You are just mad. So forget it; it is difficult. Then use your own body as a device for awareness.

Buddha has said that when you walk, walk consciously. When you breathe, breathe consciously. The Buddhist method is known as anapanasati yoga – the yoga of the incoming and outgoing breath, incoming and outgoing breath awareness. The breath comes in: move with the breath; know, be aware, that the breath is moving in. When the breath has gone out again, move with it. Be in, be out, with the breath.

Anger is difficult, sex is difficult – breath is not so difficult. Move with the breath. Don’t allow any breath to be in or out without consciousness. This is a meditation. Now you will be focused on breathing, and when you are focused on breathing thoughts stop automatically. You cannot think, because the moment you think your consciousness moves from breath to thought. You have missed breathing.

Try this and you will know. When you are aware of breathing, thoughts cease. The same energy which is used for thoughts is being used in being aware of breath. If you start thinking, you will lose track of the breath, you will forget, and you will think. You cannot do both simultaneously.

If you are following breathing, it is a long process. One has to go into it deeply. It takes a minimum of three months and a maximum of three years. If it is done continuously twenty-four hours a day . . . it is a method for monks, those who have given up everything; only they can watch their breathing twenty-four hours a day. That’s why Buddhist monks and other traditions of monks, they reduce their living to the minimum so that no disturbance is there. They will beg for their food and they will sleep under a tree – that’s all. Their whole time is devoted to some inner practice of being aware – mm? – for example, of breath.

A Buddhist monk moves. He has to be continuously aware of his breath. The silence that you see on a Buddhist monk’s face is the silence of the awareness of breathing and nothing else. If you become aware your face will become silent, because if thoughts are not there your face cannot show anxiety, thinking. Your face becomes relaxed. Continuous awareness of breathing will stop the mind. The continuously troubled mind will stop. And if the mind stops and you are simply aware of breathing – if the mind is not functioning – you cannot be angry, you cannot be sexual.

Sex or anger or greed or jealousy or envy – anything needs the mechanism of mind. And if the mechanism stops, you cannot do anything. This again leads to the same thing. Now the energy that is used in sex, in anger, in greed, in ambition, has no outlet. And you go on continuously being concerned with breathing, day and night. Buddha has said, “Even in sleep try to be aware of breathing.” It will be difficult in the beginning, but if you can be aware in the day, then by and by this will penetrate into your sleep.

Anything penetrates into sleep if it has gone deep in the mind in the day. If you have been worried about a certain thing in the day, it gets into the sleep. If you were thinking continuously about sex, it gets into the sleep. If you were angry the whole day, anger gets into the sleep. So Buddha says there is no difficulty. If a person is continuously concerned with breathing and awareness of the breathing, ultimately it penetrates into the sleep. You cannot dream then. If your awareness is there of incoming breath and outgoing breath, then in sleep you cannot dream.

The moment you dream, this awareness will not be there. If awareness is there, dreams are impossible. So a Buddhist monk asleep is not just like you. His sleep has a different quality. It has a different depth and a certain awareness in it is there.

Ananda said to Buddha, “I have observed you for years and years together. It seems like a miracle: you sleep as if you are awake. You are in the same posture the whole night.” The hand would not move from the place where it had been put; the leg would remain in the same posture. Buddha would sleep in the same posture the whole night. Not a single movement! For nights together Ananda would sit and watch and wonder, “What type of sleep is this!” Buddha would not move. He would be as if a dead body, and he would wake up in the same posture in which he went to sleep. Ananda asked, “What are you doing? Were you asleep or not? You never move!”

Buddha said, “A day will come, Ananda, when you will know. This shows that you are not practicing anapanasati yoga rightly; it shows only this. Otherwise, this question would not have arisen. You are not practicing anapanasati yoga if you are continuously aware of your breath in the day, it is impossible not to be conscious of it in the night. And if the mind is concerned with awareness, dreams cannot penetrate. And if there are no dreams, mind is clear, transparent. Your body is asleep, but you are not. Your body is relaxing, you are aware – the flame is there inside. So, Ananda,” Buddha is reported to have said, “I am not asleep – only the body is sleep. I am aware! and not only in sleep. Ananda – when I die, you will see: I will be aware, only the body will die.”

Practice awareness with breathing; then you will be capable of penetrating. Or practice awareness with body movements. Buddha has a word for it: he calls it “mindfulness.” He says, “Walk mindfully.” We walk without any mind in it.

A certain man was sitting before Buddha when he was talking one day. He was moving his leg and a toe unnecessarily. There was no reason for it. Buddha stopped talking and asked that man, “Why are you moving your leg? Why are you moving your toe?” Suddenly, as the Buddha asked, the man stopped. Then Buddha asked, “Why have you stopped so suddenly?”

The man said, “Why, I was not even aware that I was moving my toe or my leg! I was not aware! The moment you asked, I became aware.”

Buddha said, “What nonsense! Your leg is moving and you are not aware? So what are you doing with your body? Are you an alive man or dead? This is your leg, this is your toe, and it goes on moving and you are not even aware? Then of what are you aware? You can kill a man and you can say, ‘I was not aware.’” And, really, those who kill are not aware. It is difficult to kill someone when you are aware.

Buddha would say, “Move, walk, but be filled with consciousness. Know inwardly you are walking.” You are not to use any words; you are not to use any thoughts. You are not to say inside, “I am walking,” because if you say it then you are not aware of walking – you have become aware of your thought, and you have missed walking. Just be somatically aware – not mentally. Just feel that you are walking. Create a somatic awareness, a sensitivity, so that you can feel directly without mind coming in.

The wind is blowing – you are feeling it. Don’t use words. Just feel, and be mindful of the feeling. You are lying down on the beach, and the sand is cool, deeply cool. Feel it! – don’t use words. Just feel it – the coolness of it, the penetrating coolness of it. Just feel! Be conscious of it; don’t use words. Don’t say, “The sand is very cool.” The moment you say it you have missed an existential moment. You have become intellectual about it.

You are with your lover or with your beloved: feel the presence; don’t use words. Just feel the warmth, the love flowing. Just feel the oneness that has happened. Don’t use words. Don’t say, “I love you,” you will have destroyed it. The mind has come in. And the moment you say, “I love you,” it has become a past memory. Just feel without words. Anything felt without words, felt totally without the mind coming in, will give you a mindfulness.

You are eating: eat mindfully; taste everything mindfully. Don’t use words. The taste is itself such a great and penetrating thing. Don’t use words and don’t destroy it. Feel it to the core. You are drinking water: feel it passing through the throat; don’t use words. Just feel it; be mindful about it. The movement of the water, the coolness, the disappearing thirst, the satisfaction that follows – feel it!

You are sitting in the sun: feel the warmth; don’t use words. The sun is touching you. There is a deep communion. Feel it! In this way, somatic awareness, bodily awareness, is developed. If you develop a bodily awareness, again mind comes to a stop. Mind is not needed. And if mind stops, you are again thrown into the deep unconscious. With a very, very deep alertness you can penetrate. Now you have a light with you, and the darkness disappears.

Those who are bodily oriented, for them it is good to be somatically mindful. For those who are not bodily oriented it is better to be conscious of breathing. Those who feel it difficult, they can use some artificial devices. For example, mantra – mm? – it is an artificial device for being aware. You use a mantra such as “Rama-Rama-Rama” continuously. Inside you create a circle of “Rama-Rama-Rama” or “Aum” or “Allah,” or anything. Go on repeating it. But simple repetition is of no use. Side by side, be aware. When you are chanting “Rama-Rama-Rama,” be aware of the chanting. Listen to it – “Rama-Rama-Rama” – be aware.

It will be difficult to be aware of anger because anger comes suddenly and you cannot plan it. And when it comes you are so overwhelmed that you may forget it. So create a device like “Rama-Rama- Rama.” You can create it, and it will not be a sudden method. And if used for a long time, it becomes an inner sound. Whatsoever you are doing, there will be “Rama-Rama” as a silent sequence. Be aware of it. Then the mantra is complete, the japa is complete, the chanting is complete, when you are not only the creator of the sound but also the listener. It is not only that you are saying “Rama” – you are also listening to it. The circle is complete. I say something. You listen; the energy is dissipated. If you yourself say “Rama” and you yourself listen to it, the energy comes back. You are the speaker, you are the listener.

But be aware of it. It should not become a dead routine. Otherwise, you can go on saying “Rama- Rama-Rama” just like a parrot, without any awareness behind it. Then it is of no use. It may create a deep sleep even. It may become a hypnosis. You may become dull. Mm? Krishnamurti says that those who chant mantras, they become dull, they become stupid. And he is right in a way, but only in a way. If you use any chanting just as a mechanical repetition, you will become dull. Look at the so-called religious people: they are just dull and stupid. No intelligence, no flame in their eyes of life, of aliveness. They just look dead, like lead, heavy. They have not given anything to the world, they have not created anything. They have just repeated mantras.

Of course, if you go on repeating a particular mantra without awareness, you will be bored by it yourself, and boredom will create stupidity. You will become dull; you will lose interest. A certain sound repeated continuously can even create madness. But Krishnamurti is right only in a sense; otherwise he is completely totally wrong. And whenever one judges something by those who are not following it, really that judgement is not good. Anything must be judged by the perfect example.

The science of japa is not just to repeat. Repetition is secondary. It is just a device to create something of which to be aware. The real thing is to be aware. The basic thing is to be aware. If you build a house, the house is secondary. You build it to live in. And if there is no living, and you create a house and live outside, then you are foolish.

Repetition of a certain name or sound is creating a house to live in. It is creating a certain milieu inside. And if you have created it, you can manipulate it more easily than sudden happenings. And by and by you can become accustomed to it, related to it in a deep consciousness – but the real thing, the basic thing, is to be conscious of it.

The science of japa says that when you become a hearer of your own sound, then you have reached. Then you have completed the japa. And there is much in it. When you see a sound, for example, “Rama,” your peripheral apparatus is used in creating it, your vocal apparatus. Or it you create a mental sound, then your mind is used to create it. But when you become alert about it, that alertness is of the center, not of the periphery. If I say “Rama,” this is on the periphery of my being. When I listen to this sound “Rama” inside, that is from my center – because awareness belongs to the center. If you become aware in the center, now you have the light with you. You can dispel unconsciousness.

Mantra can be used as a technique; there are many, many methods. But any method is just an effort towards awareness. You cannot escape awareness. You can start from wherever you like, but awareness is the goal. [. . . .]

These are all methods of will: you will have to do something.

On the path of will, there are only guides. There are not really Gurus, Masters. There are simply guides. They instruct you; you have to do everything. They cannot do. [. . . .]

The last dying words of Buddha to Ananda are, “Ananda, be a lamp unto yourself. Don’t follow me: appa deepo bhava – Be a lamp unto yourself! Don’t follow me.” Ananda was following Buddha continuously for forty years. It was not a small period. For his whole life Ananda had followed devotedly, and no one could say that his devotion was imperfect in any way or incomplete. It was total. But Ananda, the most devoted follower, could not achieve Enlightenment, and the death of Buddha was nearing.

One day Buddha said, “Now, today I am going to leave this body.”

So Ananda began to weep and said, “What will I do now? For forty years I have been following you in every single detail.”

Even Buddha could not say, “You have not followed and that’s why you have not reached.” He had followed and he was sincere, but he was still an ignorant man.

Buddha said, “Unless I die, Ananda, it seems you will not reach.”

“Why?” Ananda asked. Buddha said, “Unless I die, you cannot return to yourself. You are too much attached to me, and I have become the barrier. You have followed me, but you have forgotten yourself completely.”

You can follow a Teacher blindly and still reach nowhere – if you are just following the Teacher according to you. Remember these words: “according to you.” Then you have not surrendered. Surrender means now you are no more there to decide. The Teacher decides. Even if the Teacher is not there, surrender to the cosmic energy. Then the cosmic energy decides. The moment you surrender, your gates are thrown open and the cosmic flood enters you from everywhere and transforms you.

Look at it this way: my house is filled with darkness. I can do two things. Either I have to create light in my house – then I will have to create it; or, I can open my doors and the sun is outside. I just open my doors, and my house becomes a host to the Divine guest, to the sun, to the rays. Then I become receptive and the darkness disappears.

On the path of will, you have to create the light. On the path of surrender, light is there – you have just to be open. But when the house is dark and when everywhere there is darkness, one fears to open doors – one fears even more. Who knows whether light will enter or whether thieves will come in? So you lock up. You close every possibility so that nothing enters in. That is the situation.

Either create light by yourself: then the darkness disappears. Or use the cosmic light: that is always there. Then open yourself! Be vulnerable! Then don’t depend on anyone. Then be ready, whatsoever happens. If you are ready no matter what may happen, then darkness itself becomes light. With that readiness, nothing can remain dark. That very readiness transforms you totally.

-Osho

From The Ultimate Alchemy, V.1, Discourse #18, Q1

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

For a related post see Path of Will or Path of Surrender.

An MP3 audio file of this discourse can be downloaded from Osho.com or you can read the entire book online at the Osho Library.

Many of Osho’s books are available in the U.S. online from Amazon.com and Viha Osho Book Distributors. In India they are available from Amazon.in and Oshoworld.com.

Neo-Advaita Meets Dzogchen: The Unraveling of a Pseudo-Enlightenment

The following is an excerpt from Sam Harris’s book Waking Up. I must confess that I have not read Sam’s book, but I find the excerpt below to be an incredibly insightful exposé on the deficiencies of neo-advaita.

“Poonja-ji’s influence on me was profound, especially because it came as a corrective to all the strenuous and unsatisfying efforts, I had been making in meditation up to that point. But the dangers inherent in his approach soon became obvious. The all-or-nothing quality of Poonjaji’s teaching obliged him to acknowledge the full enlightenment of any person who was grandiose or manic enough to claim it. Thus, I repeatedly witnessed fellow students declare their complete and undying freedom, all the while appearing quite ordinary—or worse. In certain cases, these people had clearly had some sort of breakthrough, but Poonja-ji’s insistence upon the finality of every legitimate insight led many of them to delude themselves about their spiritual attainments. Some left India and became gurus. From what I could tell, Poonja-ji gave everyone his blessing to spread his teachings in this way. He once suggested that I do it, and yet it was clear to me that I was not qualified to be anyone’s guru. Nearly twenty years have passed, and I’m still not. Of course, from Poonja-ji’s point of view, this is an illusion. And yet there simply is a difference between a person like myself, who is generally distracted by thought, and one who isn’t and cannot be. I don’t know where to place Poonja-ji on this continuum of wisdom, but he appeared to be a lot farther along than his students. Whether Poonja-ji was capable of seeing the difference between himself and other people, I do not know. But his insistence that no difference existed began to seem either dogmatic or delusional.

On one occasion, events conspired to perfectly illuminate the flaw in Poonja-ji’s teaching. A small group of experienced practitioners (among us several teachers of meditation) had organized a trip to India and Nepal to spend ten days with Poonja-ji in Lucknow, followed by ten days in Kathmandu, to receive teachings on the Tibetan Buddhist practice of Dzogchen. As it happened, during our time in Lucknow, a woman from Switzerland became “enlightened” in Poonja-ji’s presence. For the better part of a week, she was celebrated as something akin to the next Buddha. Poonja-ji repeatedly put her forward as evidence of how fully the truth could be realized without making any effort at all in meditation, and we had the pleasure of seeing this woman sit beside Poonja-ji on a raised platform expounding upon how blissful it now was in her corner of the universe. She was, in fact, radiantly happy, and it was by no means clear that Poonja-ji had made a mistake in recognizing her. She would say things like “There is nothing but consciousness, and there is no difference between it and reality itself.” Coming from such a nice, guileless person, there was little reason to doubt the profundity of her experience.

When it came time for our group to leave India for Nepal, this woman asked if she could join us. Because she was such good company, we encouraged her to come along. A few of us were also curious to see how her realization would appear in another context. And so it came to pass that a woman whose enlightenment had just been confirmed by one of the greatest living exponents of Advaita Vedanta was in the room when we received our first teachings from Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, who was generally thought to be one of the greatest living Dzogchen masters. Of all the Buddhist teachings, those of Dzogchen most closely resemble the teachings of Advaita. The two traditions seek to provoke the same insight into the nonduality of consciousness, but, generally speaking, only Dzogchen makes it absolutely clear that one must practice this insight to the point of stability and that one can do so without succumbing to the dualistic striving that haunts most other paths.

At a certain point in our discussions with Tulku Urgyen, our Swiss prodigy declared her boundless freedom in terms similar to those she had used to such great effect with Poonja-ji. After a few highly amusing exchanges, during which we watched Tulku Urgyen struggle to understand what our translator was telling him, he gave a short laugh and looked the woman over with renewed interest.

“How long has it been since you were last lost in thought?” he asked.

“I haven’t had any thoughts for over a week,” the woman replied.

Tulku Urgyen smiled.

“A week?”

“Yes.”

“No thoughts?”

“No, my mind is completely still. It’s just pure consciousness.”

“That’s very interesting. Okay, so this is what is going to happen now: We are all going to wait for you to have your next thought. There’s no hurry. We are all very patient people. We are just going to sit here and wait. Please tell us when you notice a thought arise in your mind.”

It is difficult to convey what a brilliant and subtle intervention this was. It may have been the most inspired moment of teaching I have ever witnessed. After a few moments, a look of doubt appeared on our friend’s face.

“Okay . . . Wait a minute . . . Oh . . . That could have been a thought there . . . Okay . . .”

Over the next thirty seconds, we watched this woman’s enlightenment completely unravel. It became clear that she had been merely thinking about how expansive her experience of consciousness had become—how it was perfectly free of thought, immaculate, just like space—without noticing that she was thinking incessantly. She had been telling herself the story of her enlightenment—and she had been getting away with it because she happened to be an extraordinarily happy person for whom everything was going very well for the time being.

This was the danger of nondual teachings of the sort that Poonja-ji was handing out to all comers. It was easy to delude oneself into thinking that one had achieved a permanent breakthrough, especially because he insisted that all breakthroughs must be permanent. What the Dzogchen teachings make clear, however, is that thinking about what is beyond thought is still thinking, and a glimpse of selflessness is generally only the beginning of a process that must reach fruition. Being able to stand perfectly free of the feeling of self is the start of one’s spiritual journey, not its end.”

-Sam Harris

From Waking Up, Chapter 4

You Are Responsible – Osho

What are the physical and psychic factors that are necessary for the encounter of the inner light in meditation? And how can one grow in them?

Three things to be remembered: one, you must be consciously frustrated about the life outside – consciously frustrated! We are all frustrated but unconsciously. And whenever we are frustrated unconsciously, we only change objects of desire. But one object changed for another will not help you to go in. You remain outside. You change one thing for another, then for another. Because you are frustrated by object A, you substitute your desire by object B. Then you are frustrated by object B, so you go on to C. You go on changing objects because you are only unconsciously frustrated. If you become conscious, then you will not change objects – you will change direction.

I can change. I can love one woman, then another, then another. I can love one man, then another, then another. This is unconscious frustration. So I think that A is not good and B might be, so I choose B. Then B is not good and – who knows? – C may be, so I choose C. This is unconscious frustration. If you become conscious, then it is not a question of A, B or C. It is a question of the very relationship, of the very expectation, of the very desire. This desire to get happiness through someone else is the root. You go on changing persons, but this direction is never changed.

When I say become consciously frustrated, I mean know well that persons are irrelevant. Unless you change your direction in the search for happiness nothing is going to happen. So there are two ways: either change A for object B or change direction A for direction B. A is outward-going, B is inward-going – so change the direction. By changing the direction, you begin to change yourself; by changing objects you remain the same.

I can go on changing objects for years and years, and lives and lives. I will remain the same. And with every object, since I am the same, the same is going to be the result, the same suffering is going to follow. When I say be consciously frustrated, I mean don’t be frustrated by others – be frustrated by yourself, be frustrated about yourself. Then only does the direction change.

We are all frustrated by everyone else. The husband is frustrated by the wife, and the wife is frustrated by the husband; and the son is frustrated by the father, and the father is frustrated by the son. Everyone is frustrated by others. This is the outgoing mind. Be frustrated with yourself, and then the direction changes: you begin to be ingoing. And unless you are frustrated with yourself there is no possibility for transformation.

A Buddha is not really frustrated by the world. If he is frustrated by the world, he must try to change it for another world, he must try to get another world. He is really frustrated with himself, so he begins to change himself. The object of frustration becomes the object of transformation.

So the inward journey begins, the search for inner life begins. only when you begin to feel that outside is nothing but darkness. And unless you turn your eyes inwards, light is not to be found. So the first thing: be consciously frustrated. But this much is not enough. It is necessary, but not enough, because you can be frustrated with yourself and can go on living in frustration. Then you will be just a living corpse. You will be just dead – a burden to yourself. This is necessary, but not enough.

The second thing to realize is that whatsoever you are it is because of you yourself. We say, “I am like this because of my destiny, because of the Divine Creator, because of the forces of nature, because of heredity, because of environment, because of society.” Whatsoever I am, I am always because of something or someone else. It may be the God in heaven, or it may be the heredity in the books of biology, or it may be just the society of the communists, or it may be just the childhood trauma of Freudians – but something else. You are not responsible.

The society has gone on changing causes. Sometimes it is God: then you are at ease. Then whatsoever you are, you cannot help it. Then sometimes it is karma: it is past actions which have produced you as you are, and nothing can be done. Then communism says it is the society. Communism says that it is not consciousness which determines the society; on the contrary. It is the society which determines consciousness. You are just a cog in the wheel. You have been determined. You have been manipulated. You are a by-product, so you are not responsible.

Then Freudians say that it is not economics as Marx says. Really, it is the childhood which determines you. So whatsoever you are, your seven years of childhood have made you that way. Now you cannot be a child again, and those seven years cannot be changed. So whatsoever you are, you are. At the most, through psychoanalysis, you can come to an adjustment with yourself. You can begin to feel: “Okay, now nothing can be done. and I am as I am.” Again, you begin to deteriorate.

You can be frustrated with yourself: this is a negative part. The positive, the second thing, is to remember that whatsoever you are, you are responsible. Society may have played a part, and even destiny may have played a part, and childhood also may have played a part, but ultimately you are responsible. This feeling is the base of all religion. So if Freudians win and Marxists win, religion will disappear – because the base of religion is the possibility that you can transform, the possibility that you can change yourself. And this possibility depends on the feeling of whether you are responsible for yourself or not.

If I am just determined by my cells, by heredity, then what can I do? I cannot change my bio-cells. That is not possible. And if my bio-cells have a built-in program, they will go on unfolding. What can I do? And if God has determined everything, then what can I do? And it makes no difference whether it is God or bio cells or heredity or childhood – it makes no difference! The basic thing is that if you are putting your responsibility on something else, X-Y-Z, you cannot go in.

So the second thing: remember, whatsoever you are – if you are sexual – you are responsible. If you are angry, anger-filled, if you are afraid, if fear is your chief characteristic, then you are responsible. Everything else may have played a part, but only a part, and that part also can be played only because you cooperated. And if you destroy your cooperation this very moment, you will be different. So the second positive thing is to be constantly aware that whatsoever you are, you are responsible.

It is difficult. To feel frustrated is very easy. Even to feel frustrated with oneself is not very difficult, but to feel that “whatsoever I am, I am responsible” is very difficult – very difficult, because then there is no excuse. This is one thing. And, secondly, if whatsoever I am, I am responsible for it, then if I am not changing. I am responsible even for that. If I am not transforming, then no one else but I am guilty. That’s why we create many theories – to escape from one’s own responsibility.

Responsibility is the basis of all religious transformation. You may have heard someone say that to believe in God is the base of religion. It is not! One can be religious without any god, and one can be very irreligious with all the gods. Someone else says it is rebirth, reincarnation, that is the base. It is not, because you can believe in reincarnation and your life’s duration becomes longer, but how, by just a longer duration, can you become religious? Time is not the factor to make you religious. You may be eternal: how does it help you to be religious?

No, the real thing, the base of all religiousness, is the feeling of responsibility – you are responsible for yourself. Then suddenly something opens in you. If you are responsible, then you can change. With this you can enter inwards. So feel frustrated with yourself.

Nietzsche has said somewhere, very beautifully, that that day will be the doomsday when no one feels frustrated with oneself, because then there is no possibility for further evolution. But I must add hurriedly that even if everyone feels frustrated, but no one feels responsible for it, that will be an even greater doomsday.

Frustration is negative. Feel responsible positively, and you gain much power. The moment you know that if you are bad, it is because of you, then you can be good. Then it is in your hands. You gain power, you become powerful. You release much energy, and only this releasing of energy can be used for the inner journey, just as when an atom is split, much energy is released. That is what is meant by atomic energy. Just like that, if in your mind this thing goes deep that “I am responsible for whatsoever I am, and whatsoever I like to be I can be,” this concept will release much energy. And only with that energy can you go to the inner light.

And, thirdly, remain continuously in discontent unless the light is achieved – continuously in discontent! Again, that is one of the most basic qualities of a religious mind. Ordinarily we think that a religious man is a contented man. That is nonsense. He looks contented because he has the discontent of another dimension. He looks contented. He can live in a poor house, he can live in ordinary clothes, he can live naked, he can live under a tree. He can look contented, not because he is contented with these things, but because, really, his discontent has gone towards other things, and now he cannot be bothered with these things.

He is so discontented with the inner revolution, so discontented hoping for inner light, that he cannot bother about these things. These things have just become peripheral. Really, they don’t mean anything to him. It is not that he is contented – they don’t mean anything, they are irrelevant! They are somewhere on the periphery; he is not concerned. But he lives in a deep discontent, in a fiery discontent, and only that discontent can lead you inwards.

Remember, it is discontent which leads you outside. If you are discontented with your house, then you can make a bigger one. If you are discontented with your financial position, you can change it. In the outward journey, it is discontent which leads you on and on. The same is the factor in the inward journey also. Be discontented! Unless you achieve light, unless you transcend mind, be discontent, remain discontented – this is the third point.

These three points: frustration with oneself, not with others; responsibility on oneself, not on others; and a new discontent for something which is inner – these will help. Even in a single moment it is possible to reach the ultimate goal. But then you must be absolutely discontented. Then lukewarm discontents will not do. Then you must be uncompromising. Then nothing should deter you, nothing should come in your way. Whatsoever happens outside, you must be unconcerned about it, because you have no energy to move that way. All the energy is moving inwards. These three things can help you.

These are just helps. The central thing is meditation. Meditate, and with these helps the inner light can be achieved. It is there, it is not far off – only you have no discontent, only you have no longing for it, or your longing is just dissipated outside. Accumulate it, collect it, and turn the direction. The arrow must not move from you towards the world. The arrow must move from you towards yourself, to the center. So meditation has to be done! These three are just helps. Without meditation these three will not do anything, but meditation can do even without them. They are just helps.

But when I say meditation can do even without them, don’t misunderstand me, don’t think that they are not needed. For ninety-nine percent of people those helps are a must, because unless these three things are there you are not going to meditate at all. Only for one percent these three are not needed – not because they are inessential, but because meditation is such a whole-hearted effort in itself that nothing is needed as a side help.

I remember a Sufi mystic, Hassan. He went to his teacher and he asked the teacher, “Tell me, what am I to do?”

The teacher began to explain to him; he was going to deliver a long lecture. This Hassan was just new to him, he didn’t know him. He simply said, “Meditation . . . ” This was just the beginning word. He was going to tell many things, but first he simply said, “Meditation . . . ” Hassan closed his eyes. The teacher looked at him and said, “Are you feeling sleepy?” but he had gone.

The teacher had to wait for hours. When he came back, the teacher said, “What were you doing here? I just began to explain, and you closed your eyes. For what have you come to me?”

Hassan said, “But you said the key word to me. You said ‘meditation’. It is more than enough. What more is needed now? I went in, and I am thankful that you gave me the key.”

But this one percent type is rare. To find a Hassan is rare. It is rare: just a word can click something. He was just on the verge – just a push: “meditation”, he hears a word and takes the jump.

Even this may not have been necessary. Many times, it has happened that a bird flies in the sky, and someone achieves Enlightenment. Not even the word “meditation” is uttered. Just a bird flies in the sky against the sun, and someone achieves meditation. A dry leaf falls down from the tree, and someone sees it and achieves – and achieves! These people are just on the verge. Anything absolutely irrelevant-looking can do it. How does it make sense?

Lao Tzu achieved his Enlightenment. He was just sitting under a tree and a dry leaf fell down. He looked at the fallen leaf, and he began to dance. And if anyone would ask him he would say, “How can I teach you? It is very difficult. Sit under a tree, let a dry leaf fall down, look at it, and it happens – and one begins to dance!” And he was really not joking. This had happened to him.

But such a simple, innocent mind is rare. He was meditating and meditating, upon life, upon death – and then a sudden dry leaf drops down, and everything opens. Life disappears, death becomes the reality. And in the dropping of the leaf, he sees his own death, and everything is finished. But this is rare. For ninety-nine percent of people helps are musts, so don’t misunderstand me.

-Osho

From The Ultimate Alchemy, V.1 #12, Q2

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

An MP3 audio file of this discourse can be downloaded from Osho.com or you can read the entire book online at the Osho Library.

Many of Osho’s books are available in the U.S. online from Amazon.com and Viha Osho Book Distributors. In India they are available from Amazon.in and Oshoworld.com.

You have to Go Beyond Colors – Osho

When one experiences different forms of light and colors in meditation – such as red, yellow, blue, ochre, etc. – how can one know to which layers of being they belong? Is there any gradual sequence of color and light experiences before reaching the ultimate light experience?

Light itself is colorless. All colors belong to light, but light is not a color. Light is just the absence of colors. Light is white; white is not a color. When light is divided, analyzed or passed through a prism, then it is divided into seven colors.

Mind also works as a prism – an inner prism. The outer light, if passed through a prism, is divided into seven colors; the inner light, if passed through mind, is divided into seven colors. So the experience of colors in the inward journey means that you are still in mind. The experience of light is beyond mind, but the experience of colors is within mind. So if you are still seeing colors, then you are still within mind. The mind has not been transcended.

So the first thing to remember is that the experience of colors is within mind, because mind works as a prism through which the inner light is divided. So first one begins to experience colors; then colors dissolve and only light remains.

Light is white; white is not a color. When all the colors are one, white is created. When all the colors are one, then you feel white. When all the colors are there undivided, then you experience white. When no color is there, then you experience black. Black and white are both not colors. When no color is present, then there is black. When all colors are present, undivided, then there is white. All the colors are just divided light.

If you are feeling colors inside, then one thing: you are within mind. So the experience of colors is mental; it is not spiritual. The experience of light is spiritual, but not of colors – because when mind is no more you cannot experience colors. Then only light is experienced.

Secondly, there is no fixed sequence of colors. There cannot be because each mind differs. But the experience of light is exactly the same. Buddha experiencing light or Jesus experiencing light the experience is the same. It cannot be otherwise because that which creates differences is no more. Mind creates differences.

We are here – we are different because of our minds. If mind is no more, then the factor which divides, which differentiates, is not there. So the experience of light is similar, but the experiences of colors are different and the sequence differs. That’s why, in each religion, a different sequence has been given. Some believe that this color comes first and that comes in the end; others believe quite differently. That difference is really the difference of minds. For example, a person who is fearful, deeply rooted in fear, will experience yellow as the first color. The first color coming in will be yellow, because yellow is the color of death – not only symbolically, but actually also.

If you take three bottles – one red, one yellow, one just white, plain white – and just put into these three bottles the same water, the yellow bottle will deteriorate first. Then the others will deteriorate. The red bottle of water will deteriorate in the end, last. Yellow is a death color. That’s why Buddha chose yellow as the robe for his bhikkus – because Buddha says that to die from this existence absolutely is Nirvana. So yellow was chosen as a death color.

Hindus have chosen ochre, a shade of red, as the color for their sannyasins, because red or ochre is the color of life – just the opposite of yellow. It helps you to be more alive, more radiant. It creates more energy – not only symbolically, but actually, physically, chemically. So a person who is very energetic, alive, deeply rooted in the love of life, will experience red as the first color, because his mind is more open to red. A fear-oriented person is more open to yellow, so the sequence will differ. A very silent person, one who is very still, will experience blue as the first. So it will depend.

There is no fixed sequence because there is no fixed sequence of your mind. Each mind differs in orientation in tendencies, in structure, in character. Each mind differs! Because of this difference the sequence will be different. But one thing is certain: each color has a fixed meaning. The sequence is not fixed, it cannot be, but the meaning of the color is fixed.

For example, yellow is a death color. So whenever it happens first, it means you are fear-oriented – that your mind’s first opening is for fear. So wherever you move, the first thing you will notice will be fear, or the first reaction of your mind in any new situation will be fear. Whenever something strange is there, the first response will be fear-filled. If red is the first color in your inner journey, then you are more rooted in the love of life, and your reactions will be different. You will feel more alive, and your reactions will be more life affirmative.

A person whose first experience is yellow will always interpret everything in terms of death, and a person whose first experience is red will always interpret his experiences in terms of life. Even if someone is just dying; he will begin to think that he must be reborn somewhere else. Even in death he will interpret rebirth. But for the person whose first experience is yellow, even if someone is born he will begin to think that he is going to die someday. These will be the attitudes. So a red-oriented person can be happy even. in death, but a yellow-oriented person cannot be happy even in birth. He will be negative. Fear is a negative emotion. Everywhere he will find something to be sad and negative about.

For example, I said that a very silent person will feel blue, but this means a silent person who is inactive at the same time. A silent person who is active at the same time will feel green as the first experience. Mohammed chose green as the color for his fakirs. Islam has green as the symbolic color. That is the color of their flag. Green is both – silent, still, but also active. Blue is just silent and inactive. So a person like Lao Tzu will first begin to feel blue; a person like Mohammed will begin to feel green first. So the symbolic system of colors is a fixed thing, but the sequence is not fixed.

Another thing has to be noted, and that is that seven colors are pure colors. But you can mix two, you can mix three, and a new color comes out. So it may be that you never experience pure color in the beginning. You may experience three colors, their combination, or two colors or four colors. Then again it depends on your mind. If you have a very confused mind, then your confusion will be shown in the colors.

Now they have evolved in the West a color test in psychology. and it has been proving very meaningful. Just giving you many colors and allowing you to choose the first preference, then the second, then the third, then the fourth, decides much, shows much. If you are sincere and honest, then it shows much about your mind, because you cannot choose without any inner cause. If you choose yellow first, the logic of it is that then red will be the last. It has its own logic. If death is your first choice, then life is going to be your last, you will put red as the last. And one who chooses red first will automatically choose yellow as the last. The sequence will also show the structure of the mind.

But once, twice, thrice – the cards are given to you again and again – and the strange thing is that the first time you choose yellow, your first preference, then the second time you are given the same cards but you don’t choose yellow as your first preference. The third time you choose something else, and the whole sequence changes. So the cards are given seven times. If a person goes on choosing yellow as the first color continuously for seven times, then it shows a very fixed mind – very much fixed – a fixation. This man is constantly rooted in fear. He must be living in many phobias, because everything will take the shape of fear. But if he is given the cards another seven times and now he changes – once blue and once green and once something else – then there is a double sequence. One sequence in one series and another sequence in the second series – that also shows much. In the second series, if he never repeats one color as his first preference, that shows he is very fluctuating and nothing can be decisively said about him. He will be unpredictable. And the sequence also changes because the mind is changing constantly.

Recently, because of LSD, marijuana and other drugs, many things have come up from the unconscious mind. When Aldous Huxley told about his experiences with LSD, he talked as if he had entered heaven. Everything was beautiful, utopian, colorful, poetic. Nothing was bad in it. There was nothing like a nightmare – nothing of fear or death. Everything was alive, abundantly alive, rich. But when Zaehner took it, he entered hell. With the same LSD he entered hell, and it was a long nightmare – horror filled,

Both misinterpreted their experiences. Aldous Huxley thought that this was a quality of LSD and that because of LSD this heaven experience had come up. Zaehner interpreted quite diametrically opposite from Huxley and he said, “It is just a nightmare, a deep horror. One must not go into it – it can create madness.” But the interpretation is on the same lines: he also thought that it was LSD which had created this experience.

The reality is different. It was LSD working only as a catalytic agent. LSD cannot create heaven, cannot create hell. LSD can only open you, and whatsoever is in you is projected. So if Zaehner’s experience is absolutely colorless it is because of Zaehner’s mind, and if Huxley’s experience is colorful it is because of Huxley’s mind. LSD can only give you a glimpse into your own mind. It can open your own deeper layers. So if you have a suppressed unconscious inside, then you may enter hell; or if you have nothing suppressed, if you have a relaxed unconscious, a natural one, then you may enter heaven – but that will depend on what type of mind you have. The same happens when one goes deep into an inner journey: whatsoever you encounter is your own mind. Remember this – whatsoever you encounter, it is your own mind.

The color sequence is also your own mind’s sequence, but one has to go beyond colors. Whatsoever the sequence, one has to go beyond colors. So one must continuously remember that colors are mental. They cannot exist without mind – the mind working as a prism. When you go beyond mind, there is light – colorless, absolutely white. And when this whiteness begins to be there, only then have you gone beyond mind.

Jains have chosen white as the color for their monks and for their nuns, and the choice is meaningful. As Buddhists have chosen yellow and Hindus ochre, Jains have chosen white, because they say only when white begins does spirituality really begin. Mohammed has chosen green because he says if silence is dead, then it is meaningless. Silence must be active, it must participate in the world, so a saint must also be a soldier. He has chosen green. All colors are meaningful.

There is a Sufi sect which uses black – black clothes for their fakirs. Black is also very, very meaningful. It shows absence of color, everything absent. It is just the contrary of white. Sufis say that unless we become totally absent, the God cannot be present to us. So one must be like black – absolutely absent, a nonentity, a nonbeing, just a nothingness. They have chosen black.

Colors are meaningful. So with whatsoever you choose you show much. Even your clothes indicate much. Nothing is just accidental. If you have chosen a particular color for your clothes, it is not accidental. You may not be aware why you have chosen it, but science is aware – and it shows much. Your clothes show much because they belong to your mind, and your mind chooses. You cannot choose without your mind having certain leanings, certain tendencies.

So the sequence will be different, but all sequences and all colors belong to your mind. Don’t be bothered much about them. Whatsoever color is felt, just go on passing it; don’t stick to it. Sticking to it is the natural tendency. If some beautiful color is there, one becomes stuck to it – don’t. Move! Remember that colors belong to mind. And if some color is fearful, one goes back so that it is not felt. That too is not good, because if you go back no transformation is possible. Pass through it! Don’t go back. It is your mind: pass through it! Even if a color is fearful, even if ugly, even if chaotic or beautiful or harmonious, whatsoever, go through it.

You must reach a point where colors are not, but only light remains. That entry into light is spiritual. Everything before that is mental.

-Osho

From The Ultimate Alchemy, V.1 #12, Q1

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

An MP3 audio file of this discourse can be downloaded from Osho.com or you can read the entire book online at the Osho Library.

Many of Osho’s books are available in the U.S. online from Amazon.com and Viha Osho Book Distributors. In India they are available from Amazon.in and Oshoworld.com.

 

The Inner Illumination – Osho

Sadaadeeptih apaar amrit vrittih snaanam.

To be centered constantly in the inner illumination and in the infinite inner nectar is the preparatory bath for the worship.

Light is the most mysterious thing in the universe – for many reasons. You may not have felt it like that, but the first thing about light is that light is the purest energy. Physics says that everything material is not really matter. Only energy is real. Matter is dead; matter exists no more. It never existed except in our conceptions. Matter appears to be, but it is not. Only light is – or energy, or electricity. The deeper we penetrate into matter; the less material is found. At the very deepest there is no matter and matter itself becomes non-material. But light remains, or energy.

Light is the purest energy. Light is not matter, and wherever we feel matter it is only light condensed. So matter means light condensed. This is the first mystery about light, because it is the substratum of all Existence. So in a new way, the oldest concept of religions – that in the beginning God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light – becomes very significant, because Existence in its purity is light. So if Existence begins, it has to begin with light.

Another thing: light can exist without life, but life cannot exist without light. So life also becomes secondary. Matter simply disappears. It is not. It is only condensed light. Then light can exist without life. Life is not a necessity for light to exist, but life cannot exist without light. So life becomes secondary, and light becomes primary. In this context, one thing more: just as light can exist without life but life cannot exist without light, just the same, life can exist without love, but love cannot exist without life. So these three l’s have to be remembered – light, life, love.

Light is the substratum, the ground, and love is the peak. Life is only an opportunity for tight to reach love. Life is just a passage. So if you are only alive, you are just in the passage. Unless you reach love, you have not reached. Light is the potentiality, love is the actuality, and life is only a passage. So when it is said that God is love, this is the love that is meant. Unless you become love, you are just in between, you have not reached the end. Light is the beginning, love is the end, and life is just a passage.

So remember this: light can exist without life. Matter is just an appearance, a “condensity”, an intensity of light, and life is a manifestation. That which is hidden in light is manifested. Life is not an appearance: life is a manifestation. Matter is just light condensed. So when light remains light and becomes condensed, it is matter. When light evolves, manifests its potentiality, it becomes life. If it simply remains life, then death is the end. If it evolves more, then it becomes love – and love is deathless. You may call it God; you may call it anything. These are basic points. If you remember them, then we can proceed into the sutra.

Thirdly, in this whole world everything is relative except light. Only light has a constant velocity. That’s why physics takes light as the measurement of time. Everything is relative; only light is, in a certain way, absolute. Light travels with a constant velocity. Nothing else is constant. So only light is absolute. There is no change: the velocity is absolute; the speed is absolute. So light becomes a mystery. It is not relative to anything, and everything else is relative to light. So nothing can travel with more speed than light, because if anything takes the speed just equivalent to light, it will turn into light.

If we can throw a stone with the speed of light, the stone will become light. Anything moving with the speed of light will become light. So nothing reaches the velocity of light, and nothing transcends the velocity of light. The speed of light is 186,000 miles per second. Anything travelling with that speed will become light. That’s why scientists say we cannot travel with the speed of light: because anything – we or aircraft, rockets – anything travelling with that speed will become light itself.

Fourthly, light travels without any vehicle; everything else can travel only with a vehicle. Only light travels without vehicles. That is mysterious. And also, light travels without any medium. Everything else has to travel through a medium. A fish can travel in water, a man can travel in air, but light travels in nothing, in nothingness.

In the beginning of this century, physicists just imagined something like ether. They imagined something must be there; otherwise, how can light travel? So that was a basic question: light comes to the earth from the sun or from some star, it travels, so there must be some medium through which it travels. So just because nothing can travel without a medium, in the beginning of this century scientists hypothetically assumed that there must be some X – they named it ether – through which light travels.

But now they have found that there is no medium. The whole universe is just a vast space, and light travels in nothingness. That means even nothingness cannot destroy it, even emptiness cannot affect it. That means even non-being cannot affect light’s being. And it can travel without any medium, without any vehicle. That means the energy is not derived from somewhere else. Light itself is the energy. If you have some derived energy, then you will have to travel through mediums, through vehicles; you cannot go yourself. Light goes by itself.

Fifthly, light is neither being pushed nor being pulled. It simply travels! If I throw a stone, then there is a push. I put my energy in the stone, and the stone will only go to the limit, to the extent, up to where it can be forced by my energy. When my energy fails or is exhausted, the stone will fall down.

The stone is not travelling with its own energy. The energy has been given to it; it is foreign.

Everything in the world has foreign energy in it – except light. Everything moving is moving with some energy derived from somewhere else. A tree is growing, but the energy has been derived. A flower is flowering, but the energy has been derived. You are breathing and living, but the energy is derived. You have no energy of your own. Nothing has except light.

In this reference, the saying of Mohammed in the Koran becomes very significant. He says, “God is light,” and he means there that only God is His own source of energy. Everything else is just derived.

So we really live a borrowed life. It is borrowed from many, many sources. That’s why our lives are conditional. If one source just refuses to give us energy, we are dead. Light lives with its own energy – unborrowed, self-originating. It is neither pushed nor pulled, and it moves. That’s the most mysterious thing possible. It is a miracle!

Sixthly, if only light has its own energy and everything else lives with borrowed energy, certainly it must be that everywhere, ultimately, the energy is borrowed from light – because if everything lives with borrowed energy except light, then ultimately light is the donor. Wherever you get your energy, ultimately the source must be light.

You are eating food and you are getting energy, but the food itself gets it through light, through sunrays, so you are not getting it from food. Food does not have its own energy source: food is deriving it from somewhere else. The food is doing only an in-between work, the work of a medium. Because you cannot absorb light directly, trees are absorbing it, and then they transform it in such a way, they compose it in such a way, that you can take that energy directly. So they work as mediums – then light becomes the only source of energy.

So if everything drops in the universe, light will not be affected. If everything just goes off, if the whole universe is dead, light will not be affected. The universe will still be filled with light. But if light goes off, then everything will die. Nothing can exist.

This basicness of light is not only basic for science, it is basic for religion also. So now the second part: if you penetrate matter you stumble upon light. If you penetrate life, you again stumble upon light. So religious mystics have always said, “We experience Light, we realize light – the light within, the flame within.” All the mystics have talked this way, and it is not only symbolic. Only in this century has it become possible to say that it is not only symbolic. If matter dissolves into light, comes out of light, why not life itself? And when a mystic goes deep, he is going deep in life, he stumbles upon light. This going deep in oneself means going more and more to the original source of light.

So the outer light is not the only light. You have inner light also, because you cannot exist without it. It is the base. To be means to be grounded in light; there is no other being. So when you go in you are bound to come to and realize a dimension, a realm, of light – inner light. This inner light and your life make just two layers. Your life is the outermost layer; light is a deeper layer.

Your life will end in death. Unless you realize the inner light, you cannot know the deathless, because your life is just a phenomenon; it is not the base. It is just a phenomenon, a wave – a wave on the ocean of light. It will go! If you can penetrate through it to the deeper realm of light, you will know that which is immortal, which cannot die – because only light cannot die, only light is immortal. Everything will have to die, because everything lives on derived life, borrowed life. Only light has its own life. Everything else has life borrowed from somewhere else. So one has to return it, one has to give it back.

So unless you realize the inner light, you will not know that which is beyond death. In a sense it is beyond death and beyond life also. Only then does it become immortal. That which is born will have to die; that which is alive will be dead. So only that can be beyond death which is beyond life itself. Light is beyond life and beyond death. Whenever mystics have been talking about light, they always talk about deathlessness, because the moment you enter the inner light, the source of life, you enter deathlessness.

In this sutra, both terms have been used. This sutra says:

To be centered constantly in the inner illumination, in the inner light, and in the infinite inner nectar, is the preparatory bath for the worship.

So unless you are bathed in your own inner light, and in the nectar, in the immortality which belongs to that light, you are not ready to enter the Divine temple. This is a preparatory bath. Water will not do: light has to be used. Pure light has to be used. Unless you are bathed in pure light, you are not ready to enter the Divine temple.

When Krishna showed his infiniteness to Arjuna, Arjuna said, “I don’t see you, Krishna, I see only light. Where have you gone? I see only thousands and thousands of suns – and I am scared. You come back!” When one enters into the inner light . . . it is there, because without it you cannot be. nothing can be. It is a scientific fact, because without light nothing can be. If there is anything, then in its ground light is bound to be. You may know it, you may not know it, but light is the ground of all. You are, so you have a deep realm of light. The moment you enter it, you are bathed. and this bath means many things.

Ordinarily, when you enter a temple, outwardly you take a bath. You take a bath because dirt can be washed from the body, and you can enter into the temple with a purer body – fresh, undirty, clean. But when you are really entering into the Divine temple. your body is not entering: your consciousness is entering. And you cannot bathe your consciousness with water. But consciousness can have a deep cleansing in inner light, and that deep cleansing means cleansing the dirt of all karma – all actions.

Whatsoever you have done, whatsoever you have been, whatsoever your past has been, it clings to you – just like dirt, just like dust, it clings to you. When you enter inner light, it disappears. Why? Because the moment you enter that inner light, everything takes the velocity of light, and nothing can remain. The dirt, the dirt of karmas, dissolves – all that you have done in all your lives. When you enter that realm, everything becomes light, because with light, in that velocity, nothing can remain anything else. So it is not simply a bath. All the karmas, just disappear, they become light, and the consciousness is cleaned. It becomes fresh and young as it should be, as it is meant to be.

And when all the karmas disappear – by “karmas” I mean the material dust that one accumulates through actions and desires and passions – when it disappears, the entity, the nucleus of ego disappears also, because ego exists only as a collectivity of all the dust, of all the dirtiness, of all the impurities. It exists as a center. When everything disappears, ego disappears. And when ego disappears, you are pure, clean, you are born anew. So to enter this inner light is to enter the inner fire.

Another thing: the light that is outside is constant, but it cannot be constant for you. The sun will rise and set. The sun itself never rises and never sets, but for the earth it rises, and it sets; the night comes. So with outer light you cannot remain constantly in light. Only with inner light is there no rising and no setting. That’s why the sutra says, “To be centered constantly . . .” continuously. There is no night, there is no setting, because there is no rising. The light is there as your Being, as your very Existence. So to be constantly centered in this light is the bath. And by “bath” is meant that everything to which one was clinging is just destroyed – not only destroyed but transformed also. It becomes light itself.

This entry has three parts: first you will realize light, then you will realize a deep cleansing of your soul, of your being, and, thirdly, you will realize the elixir, the nectar – the amrit – the immortality, the deathlessness of it, because once the ego dies you are deathless, once the karmas are washed away you are deathless, once you have entered deeper than life you are deathless.

Deeper than life, death cannot exist. Death exists parallel to life. It means the end of life. So life has two dimensions. One is just horizontal. You go from one moment of life to another moment of life, then another – A-B-C – in a sequence. Then ultimately, the Z is going to be the death. You move from A to B, from B to C, then to X-Y-Z. A is birth, Z is death, and you move from A-B-C-D horizontally. This is one movement – birth to death. Buddha says, “One who is born will have to die, because he is moving horizontally.” So death is a necessity on a horizontal plane.

But you can move vertically. From A, instead of going to B, drop below the A or go above the A. Don’t move to B. So from any life movement, you can move in two ways. You can move to another life movement; then death will be the end. Then you are progressing towards death automatically, unknowingly. You can move down or up – not horizontally but vertically. So move down or up from A, and then you move from life to light. If you move down, then you move to light. If you move up, then you move to love. This is the vertical plane.

If you move down from life, then you move to light. If you move up, then you move to love. And both give you the door to the deathless, because death only means horizontal moving. Now you are not moving horizontally. And move either way. If you can consciously go down to light, your life will become love – because once you have known the deathless you can be nothing but love.

Really, death is the enemy of love. You cannot love because there is death; you cannot love because you are fearful of death; you cannot love because you are afraid of everyone else, of the other. And all fears are basically fear of death. They all can be reduced to the fear of death. Once you know the deathless, the fear has gone. And when the mind is fearless, it is love. When the mind is fearful, it is never love. You may put on a show, you may pretend, but it is never love. With fear hate can exist, with fear jealousy can exist, with fear anything can exist, but not love. That’s why we pretend love, and love is not found. In the end jealousy is found, hate is found, fear is found – love is not found.

Why? Because you cannot love really. How can you love when there is death? How can you love unconditionally when every moment death is coming near?

Look at it in this way: you are here, your beloved or your lover is here. You are just in the ecstasy of love, and then someone says that within five minutes you are going to die. The moment this is said, that within five minutes you are going to die, love will disappear. You will forget the beloved, the lover and the poetry, and everything will just disappear. Why does it disappear? It has never been there. It was only that you were unaware of death, so you were pretending love.

Deathlessness known becomes love. Then you cannot do anything else. Then it is not that you love; rather, you become love. Love becomes your quality – not your act – your very being. So either, drop down from A; from the horizontal line drop down vertically to light: that is one way. Yoga is concerned with this dropping down. Or, from A, rise vertically to love. Bhakti – the path of devotion – is concerned with rising up. Either way you go vertically. The same will be the result.

If you can go up from A, again you find the deathless. Vertically, there is no death; only horizontally is there death. So if you find love by going up, you will find light, because entering the deathless one is bound to find light, entering the light one is bound to find the deathless. They are one! So, really, life and death are two aspects of one coin, and death is not opposite to life. It is a part. Light is opposed to death, not life, because light is immortality. Love is also opposed to death because again it is deathless.

So the problem is either to enter light by going down or by going up to enter love. This vertical journey is the journey of religion. And this sutra says:

To be centered constantly in the inner illumination and in the infinite inner nectar is the preparatory bath for the worship.

So how to enter and how to be centered? How to enter? How to find this light?

Two or three things: one, whenever you say light is, what do you mean? I say, “The room is lighted.” What do I mean? I mean that I can see. Light is never seen; only something lighted is seen. You see the walls, not the light; you see me, not the light. Something lighted is seen, never the light itself, because light is so subtle that it cannot be seen. It is not a gross phenomenon. So we only infer that light is. It is an inference, not a knowing. It is just an inference! Because I can see you, I infer, assume, that light is How can I see you without light?

No one has ever seen light – no one! And no one can ever see light. But we use the words, “I see light,” and by that we mean, “I see things which cannot be seen without light.” When you say it is dark, there is no light, what do you mean? You only mean, “Now I cannot see things.” When you cannot see things. you infer that light is not. When you can see things, you infer that light is. So light is an inference even in the outer, the outside world. So when one has to enter, when one is ready to enter inside. what do we mean by light?

If you can feel yourself, if you can see yourself, that means the light is there. This is strange, but we never think about it. The whole room is dark; you cannot say anything is there, but one thing you can say: “I am.” Why? You cannot see yourself either. The room is totally dark, nothing can be seen, but about one thing you are certain and that is your own being. No need of any proof. no need of any light. You know that you are, you feel that you are. A subtle, inner illumination must be there. We may not be aware of it, we may be unconscious of it or very dimly conscious, but it is there.

So turn your gaze inwards. Close all your senses so that there is no feeling of the outside light. Go into darkness, close your eyes, and now try to penetrate, to see inwards. First you may feel simple darkness; that is because you are not accustomed to it. Go on penetrating. Just try to look into the darkness which is within. Penetrate it, and by and by you will begin to feel many things inside. An inner illumination begins to work. It may be dim in the beginning. You will begin to see your thoughts because thoughts are inside things. They are things! You will begin to stumble upon the furniture of your mind.

Much furniture is there – many memories, many desires, many unfulfilled passions, many frustrations, many thoughts, many seed thoughts, many, many things are there. When you begin to feel them, first try to penetrate the darkness. Then a dim light begins to be there, and you begin to be aware of many things. It is like when you enter a dark room suddenly – you can’t see anything. But remain there. Be adjusted to the darkness, let your eyes be adjusted to the darkness. Eyes have to adjust, they take time. When you come from without, from a sunlit garden to your room, your eye will have to readjust themselves. Your eyes will take a little time, but it happens.

If one is constantly using his eyes only to see things which are very near – for example, if one is constantly reading – then he will become shortsighted, because so much use of short sight will fix the mechanism of the eyes. So when he wants to see a far-off star, he cannot see it because the mechanism has become fixed. Now it is not flexible. The same happens inside: because we have been looking outside continuously, for lives, the mechanism has become fixed, and we cannot look inside.

But try, make an effort – look into the darkness. Don’t be in a hurry, because the mechanism has been fixed for many lives. Eyes have forgotten completely how to look inside. You have never used them for that purpose. So look into the darkness, see the darkness, and don’t be impatient. Penetrate the darkness, go on penetrating, and within three months you will be able to see many things inside which you never thought were there. And now, for the first time, you will become aware that thoughts are just things. And when you become aware, then you can put a thought anywhere you want. If you want to throw it out, you can throw it out.

But now you cannot throw it. Just now you cannot throw out any thought, because you cannot catch it. You don’t even know that it is a thing, that it can be caught, and it can be thrown. You don’t know where thoughts are located; you don’t know from where they come. Everyone says, “I don’t want to be fearful; I don’t want to be angry.” But they cannot do anything because they don’t know even from where this anger comes, what the root is, where this anger has its reservoir, where this anger is accumulated. You don’t know the roots.

Every thought is a thing. It has an accumulated reservoir. So when one thought comes, it is just a leaf on a big tree. You cannot cut it and throw it – another leaf will come out. Roots are there, the tree is there. When you begin to be aware even dimly that thoughts are there, desires are there – anger, passion, lust – everything is there, don’t begin to fight. Just watch, because by watching you will become more aware, and by fighting you will never become aware. So don’t fight – watch! “Watch” is the word, the mantra. Watch constantly, and the more you watch, the more you will begin to feel that more light is there. Light is there; only your eyes have to be adjusted. So watch!

By watching, eyes will become adjusted. And when more light is there and everything becomes clear, when there is no dark spot, then you become master of your mind. You can put anything out; you can rearrange everything. And once you become master of your mind, then you will become aware from where this light is coming, what the source is. The sun is not there; it is without. You have not even brought in a candle, but everything has become illuminated. From where is this light coming? First you will become aware of things which are lighted, then you will become master of the things of your mind, and then you will begin to be aware of where this light is coming from, of what the source is. You will begin to be aware of a flower blooming. Then you will begin to be aware of where this light is coming from. Then you can know the sun.

Only secondarily will you have to proceed from a lighted object towards the source of the light. Again, light is not seen; again, you will see the sun. So first you will begin to feel the content of the mind. Then, more and more, the mind will become clear. Then you will be aware of where this light is coming from. Just in the center of the mind is the source. Then enter the source! Now you can forget the mind – you are the master. You can just say to the mind, “Stop!” and the mind will stop.

Awareness is needed for the mastery. Never try the reverse: never try to be the master first and then to be aware. That never happens, that cannot happen. That is not possible. Be aware, and the mastery happens. You become the master. Then go to the source, then enter the source, from where this light is coming. Go! Enter the illumination! That entering into the illumination is the “bath”. You have become master of the mind. Now you will become master of life itself; now you will become master of consciousness itself. And once bathed in this illumination, in this source of light, you will be able to see yourself in your eternity. In this moment, all the past and all the future will be there. This moment is eternal. You are so pure that the whole time gathers in you. The past purified creates a purified future – and this moment becomes eternal.

Watch, be aware, observe deeply the contents of the mind. Then you will become aware of the source; then enter the source. It is fearful, because whatsoever you have known as yourself will die. This bath is a death – a death of all that you have known yourself to be. The identity, the ego, the personality, everything will die. because the personality, the identity, the ego, they are the dirt – the accumulated dirt around your being. Only being will remain without name and form. And this sutra says this is the preparatory bath. Only now can you enter, and only up to here do you have to make efforts. The moment you are purified, the moment you have gone through this bath, the moment the karmas have dissolved. now you need not make any effort.

From this point, God becomes a gravitation. Now you enter the field of grace. It is the same like the gravitation on the earth, but you have to enter the field. So for spaceships we have tb make one basic arrangement: they must be thrown out of the grip of the earth, out of the gravitation field. Two hundred miles above the earth, all around, is the field. If you are under the field, you will be pulled back. If you go beyond two hundred miles, then the earth cannot do anything.

The Divine cannot pull you unless you are totally pure, unless you yourself become light. Then with the same velocity, you enter the Divine. So this entering the light is the last effort. Once you are purified you begin to gravitate. Now you need not go: you are being pulled. This gravitation is known as grace: the gravitation to the Divine is grace. Grace is not really a help – it is not! It is just a law. God is not grace-ful only to some, it is not so, He is not partial; the earth is not gravitational only for some – the moment you enter the field, the law begins to work.

So don’t say that God is grace-full, don’t say that God is helpful, don’t say that He has compassion. It is not right. God means “the Law of Grace”. The law begins to work. Once you enter the field, the law begins to work. Once you begin to be light yourself, the law begins to work – and you begin to gravitate.

I said that light is the foundation of life. With this statement even science can agree. Science ends on this point; there is no beyond for science. Religion still has a beyond because religion says that even beyond light there is Existence.

Now another thing: light exists, so light has two qualities – being the light and also existence. Still, light is not the ultimate one because it has two qualities – light and existence. Religion says that existence can be without light, but light cannot be without existence. So one step more: religion says, “God is pure Existence.” So, really, for religious people, this word or this sentence that “God is”, is fallacious, because “God” and “is” both mean the same thing.

A table is, but to say “God is” is not good. Man is because man may not be, so man and is-ness are two things conjoined. They can be disjoined. But “God is” is not right because God means is-ness. So it is tautological, repetitive. To say, “God is” is as absurd as someone saying, “Is is” or “God God”. “God is” means the same as “God God” or “Is is”. They are meaningless, absurd! Is-ness is God. So religion reduces it still more and says that when you enter light, then you will enter the Is-ness, Existence, That. So light is just the aura of That. When you enter light, you enter the aura. But the moment you enter the aura you will be pulled. and there will be no time gap. There is no time gap!

Now another thing: I said that light moves with the highest velocity – 186,000 miles in one second. in one second. in one minute, in one hour, in one year, how much light moves! The unit with which physics measures its movement is the light year. A light year means the movement of light in one year at this velocity. This is still a time movement. It is very fast, but yet light takes time to move. So as I said, light needs no medium, light needs no vehicle, light needs no borrowed energy – but still light needs time. So for religion, light still needs something without which it cannot move. So light is still dependent on time.

Religion says we have to go even deeper in order to find something which need not have even this dependence – time. So for us it looks meaningless. How can light move without any medium? But now science says it moves. It is so. Religion says, “Don’t be disturbed. How can God be without time?” He is, and God moves without time, consciousness moves without time.

Light has the highest velocity as far as science has measured, but in a way, it is the highest because Existence cannot be said to have more velocity. Really, it moves without time. So there is no question of velocity. We cannot say how much it moves in one second. The movement is absolutely absolute. There is no time gap. So when one enters this illumination, one is pulled. Even the word “pulled” takes time to be asserted, but the very phenomenon of being pulled takes no time.

When I say “pulled”, it takes time, time is lost. But really, when one enters the illumination, even this much time is not needed. There is no time gap. You are pulled, and beyond this light is God, the temple. This light only bathes you, purifies you, just like a fire. You become purified. And the moment you are purified – the entrance, the explosion.

With light you become deathless, but you still feel. You feel that now you have entered immortality. But when entering into That, the Is-ness, you are not even aware of deathlessness. Life and death are meaningless now – only Being is. You are, without any conditions. That Being is the Ultimate for religion.

Light is the field, mind is around the field, and we are around the mind, we live outside the mind. So one has to enter the mind, then light, and then the Divine. But we just go on round and round, outside the mind. This state of always being outside the home has become a fixed habit. We have forgotten that we are living on the verandah. It is easy: the verandah is easy for moving outside. That’s why we have become fixed there – it is easy. We can move outside anytime. and because our mind and our desires are moving outside, we live on the verandah. So at any moment, at any opportunity to move, we can run. We have forgotten that there is a home, and this running outside is just being a beggar. Entering the house means you will have to turn your eyes around completely, and you will have to use your eyes in a new way, and you will have to pass a dark night – only because of a fixed habit.

Christian mystics have talked much about “the dark night of the soul”. This is the dark night – because your eyes are so fixed. As I said, someone becomes shortsighted, someone else becomes farsighted. If he goes on looking far, then he cannot look near. If he goes on looking near, then he cannot look far. Eyes become fixed. They are mechanical; they lose the flexibility. Just as someone becomes nearsighted and someone farsighted, we have become “outsighted”. “Insightedness” will have to be developed.

You must have heard the word “insight”, but you might not have heard the word “outsighted”. You know the word “insight”, but it is meaningless unless you understand the word “outsight”. We have become outsighted, fixed; the insight has to be developed. So whenever you find time, close your eyes, close your mind to the outside, and try to penetrate in. At first you will be in a deep dark night. Nothing will be there except darkness. Don’t be impatient. Wait and watch, and by and by darkness will become less, and you will be able to feel many inner phenomena. And only when you become aware of the inner world, then only can you become aware of the source from where this light is coming. Then enter the source. This the Upanishads call “the bath”.

How stupid the human mind is! We ritualize everything, and the significance is lost. Then only stupid rituals remain. So we take a bath when we go to the temple. Neither the temple is there nor the bath. The temple is inside and the bath also. And this bath, the Upanishads say, is the bath in inner illumination.

Light is really the bridge between the Divine and the world. The Divine creates the world through creating light. Light is the first creation, and then light condenses and matter happens; then light grows, I say light grows, and life happens; then life grows, and love happens. […]

-Osho

From The Ultimate Alchemy, V.1, Discourse #11

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

An MP3 audio file of this discourse can be downloaded from Osho.com or you can read the entire book online at the Osho Library.

Many of Osho’s books are available in the U.S. online from Amazon.com and Viha Osho Book Distributors. In India they are available from Amazon.in and Oshoworld.com.

No Need to Reconcile – Osho

I feel very joyous after your morning talk and Sufi dancing, but I cannot reconcile it with the misery of the people I see when I step out of the ashram.  What to do?

It is there, the misery is there. But there is no need to reconcile. My whole teaching is to be total wherever you are. Listening to me, if you are feeling joyous feel totally joyous. Dancing in the ashram, participating in Sufi dance or meditating, if you are ecstatic be totally ecstatic. When you go outside and the misery is there and ugliness is there and beggars are there and poverty is there and illness is there, be totally miserable there.

The only thing to be remembered is totality. Seeing a beggar, cry. If you can do something, do. If you cannot do anything you can hold his hand, you can sit by his side. You can feel, you can watch. And you can keep remembering that you should not do anything to make people poor.

There is no need to reconcile. Reconciliation will mean you have found a way to console yourself. For example, you can fall upon the theory of karma. You can say this man is suffering because of his karma. Now you are reconciled, now you need not worry about it, you need not go into it. This is none of your business, he is suffering from his karma. That’s what Indians have been doing down the ages. A poor man is suffering from his karma, he has to suffer, he has done something wrong in his past lives. This is a punishment; he should not do such a thing again. Then you are no more disturbed by it, then you think you are not a part to his misery.

No, I will not say that. We are all part; we are all together here. No man is an island, we make one vast continent. We are involved with each other. If you are happy the world that surrounds you is involved in your happiness. If you are miserable the world that surrounds you is involved in your misery. We are not separate.

So when outside seeing misery, feel miserable. Why think of reconciliation? Nothing is wrong in being miserable, if you can remember only one thing: then be totally miserable. Then inside the ashram or outside the ashram you will have one thing common, that is totality. And that is what is needed. When you cry, cry totally. When tears come to your eyes then don’t be a miser, then don’t hold them back. Then overflow in them, then let them take your whole being, let them possess you. While dancing dance totally possessed, mad. When laughing let there be laughter. But be total.

One thing more: India and the Indian people suffer because of their stupid notions. Feel sorry for them. Down the ages, the so-called religious people have been preaching poverty. That is the root cause. They have been praising poverty like anything, as if poverty is a value in itself. Poverty is not a value in itself. Discomfort is not a value in itself, inconvenience is not a value in itself. Illness, disease, is not a value. But down the ages, the so-called Indian mahatmas have been preaching to people that poverty has a spiritual value. If you are poor, you are spiritual, if you are rich, you are materialist.

That’s why Indians go on saying that Americans are materialists. Because they are rich. To be rich and to be materialist is synonymous to the Indian mind. And Indians are spiritual because they are poor. To be poor and to be spiritual is synonymous. This is absurd. A man can be poor and materialist, and a man can be rich and religious and spiritual.

According to me, the rich man has more possibilities to be religious than the poor man. He can afford religion. The poor man cannot even think about it. The poor man is bound to be materialist. The rich man has the possibility to get out of materialism –because he has it all, he has experienced it all, and he has come to recognize that it doesn’t give the thing that you are searching for. That it doesn’t fulfill. That the aching heart remains aching. That the emptiness in the spirit remains the same – no riches can fill it, no riches can give you the feeling of fulfillment and flowering. Only the rich man can know the absurdity of richness. The poor man cannot know – he still hopes, he still has much to arrange.

Only in a really rich world, religion will become a universal phenomenon. In a poor world the only religion that can have any appeal is communism. No other religion can have any other appeal.

If you look down deeply into the Indian mind you will find it absolutely materialistic. I have been watching, observing, it is one of the most materialistic minds in the world. The reason is its poverty. But the problem is that the whole heritage supports poverty, the whole heritage has been praising poverty. That’s why I am an outsider here, a stranger. There is a rift between me and the Indian mind because I don’t support his heritage. I cannot support it. I am not violent– how can I support his heritage? It is his heritage that has made him poor. I am against his past; I want him to drop his whole past. And unless the Indian consciousness is freed from its past, the poverty is going to remain there, the suffering is going to remain there.

So the only thing that you really can do is to help people to understand that they have to get rid of their past. Their whole stubborn attitude has become their imprisonment. If you are against riches, you will not produce riches, obviously. If you are against riches, you will not create the technology which can produce riches. If you are against wealth, you may desire deep down to be wealthy, but your very attitude will prevent you. You will go on doing things which will keep you poor. And the problem is, if you support the heritage of the Indian mind then you support his poverty. And the Indian mind will follow you.

Now look – Morarji Desai goes on saying that the only way to prevent the population explosion is to teach people celibacy. Not birth-control– celibacy. Now, through celibacy the population explosion cannot be prevented. But this appeals to the Indian mind. The Indian mind will say “This is right.” Because the support is there in all the scriptures for celibacy, brahmacharya.

They are bound to be against me. I support birth control, I support abortion, they are bound to be against me. Abortion? A spiritual man cannot support abortion. People come to me, and they say, I support abortion? I support murder? Abortion is murder. I say to them: You know the soul is immortal. So how can the murder happen? Have you forgotten Krishna and his Bhagavad Gita? He says to Arjuna “You can kill all these people; nobody is ever killed. Because the soul is immortal.”

Now, if I support abortion, if I support birth-control, I am not spiritual. Obviously, I am not, in their definition. It is not accidental that the Indian mind feels an antagonism towards me. It is very simple for me not to antagonize them, but then I will be their enemy. You see the paradox? The problem is, if I love them, I have to antagonize them. But then they will not come to me. If I don’t love them then I can go on supporting their ideas. Then they will come in thousands – millions will come. But then I will be their enemy. Then I will be keeping their poverty, their suffering, their ugliness.

So I know, when you go out you have to face an ugly world. Whatsoever you can do, do. If you cannot do anything you can cry and weep, you can help people. That’s my message to my sannyasins: Always go to the roots. I am not saying to you to give some money to the beggar, because that is not going to help. Money has been given down the ages, that has not helped. In fact, that has made beggary rooted in the soil. I am not saying give money to the beggar, I am not saying don’t give money to the beggar that is irrelevant. Whether you give or not, it is not going to help. Giving the money may help you. Mm? You will find a reconciliation; you have done something. You will feel good. You can go to the Blue Diamond and fall asleep, feeling good, saintly, holy, that you have done something. But that is not going to help.

And I am not saying don’t give money. But remember, that is not going to help. If you feel good, it is perfectly good to feel good.

But the real thing that is going to help is enlightened people. Help them to see why they are miserable. They have made a religion out of poverty. It is not because of their past karmas that they are suffering, it is because of their past philosophies that they are suffering. It is not that in their past life they committed murder and suicide and robbery, so they are suffering. It is simply that their whole past they have been taught poverty. Poverty has been praised so much.

Mm? Those questions come to me. Just the other day there was a question: Why do I move in an Impala car? I also think about it – why do I move in an Impala car? Because I don’t have a Rolls Royce, that’s why. I understand, you feel for me . . .

But my whole approach is different than the so-called spiritual mind. It is not spiritual to me. Life has to be lived as beautifully as possible. And poverty is not a value, and discomfort is not spirituality.

But this is the problem. People who are poor would like to see me also in the same discomfort. Then they will feel happy. And if I am in the same discomfort, naturally I have to praise the discomfort. That is the only way to remain in discomfort, you have to praise it. You have to make much of it, that you are doing something great.

If you look healthy, if you look beautiful, if you look graceful, if you live a natural life, then people are not happy. Then what are you doing? Then you are an ordinary man. Let me repeat: To be utterly ordinary is to be spiritual. To be utterly ordinary is the meaning of spirituality to me. To try to be extraordinary is an ego trip. How you manage it, that is a different thing, but to try to be extraordinary is to be on an ego trip.

Relax. Here, feel as joyous as you can. I am trying to create an alternative world, a small world. But beyond the gate the old world exists. You will be going there, and you will have to encounter it. And in fact, when you really start feeling joyous then you see the misery more, because the contrast exists. Ordinarily you may not be so aware of the misery. Indians are not so much aware of the misery. They have lived in it; they are accustomed to it. When Westerners come, they feel it more.

I overheard two American travelers at Bombay’s Santa Cruz airport. And one said to the other “Look! They have bread too.” They must have been thinking that India is so poor that no bread, no butter, nothing. He was surprised to see bread. “Look! They have bread too.”

When you come from the West, from affluent societies, it is natural for you to become more aware of the poverty, of the degradation that this society exists in. And then you come to me, and here the whole effort is to create a climate of celebration. Then you start feeling very joyous, flowing. With that joy, and with your Western consciousness, moving outside is difficult, I understand. Everything hurts, everything is an eyesore.

But reconciliation is not possible. We have to accept it. The only thing that is possible is, feel. Feel the misery. And help people to get rid of their dangerous poisonous past. Only then, someday there is a possibility that people will not be so miserable.

-Osho

From This Very Body the Buddha, Discourse #10, Q3

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

An MP3 audio file of this discourse can be downloaded from Osho.com or you can read the entire book online at the Osho Library.

Many of Osho’s books are available in the U.S. online from Amazon.com and Viha Osho Book Distributors. In India they are available from Amazon.in and Oshoworld.com.

Two Types of Freedom – Osho

You said last night that to have an upward flow of the mind one has to make a constant effort against past animal habits. Please explain what the difference is between effort against habits, and suppression.

Transformation of the mind is a positive effort. Suppression of the mind is negative. The difference is that when you are suppressing your mind, you are positively concerned with being against something. When you are transforming your mind, you are not directly concerned with being against something. You are positively concerned for something: the effort is for something, not against something.

For example, if you are fighting directly with sex, then it will be suppression. But if your positive effort is for transformation of sex energy, your positive effort is for something else, then it will not be suppression. Suppression means you have blocked the natural door for the energy, you have blocked the natural outflow, and you have not opened anything else. It is just a blockage. You are against anger, so you block anger – but where will the energy go? The energy that you have suppressed will create inner complexities. It will even be more perverted. So to be natural is better than to be perverted. Perversion is disease; to be natural is healthy.

Of course, just to be healthy is not the end. One can go even beyond health. So these are three things – suppression, being natural and transcendence. Just being natural is just being healthy. If you suppress and there is no positive outlet, no creative outlet for your suppressed energy, then you will become perverted. You are not healthy: you become diseased, you become a “dis-ease”.

Don’t be concerned negatively. Change the energy, the door, the path, the outlet, positively, and when there is a creative change, the energy that was flowing into sex will not flow. Whenever you can open a higher passage for it, it will flow through it. Whenever you can create something which is better than nature itself, then there is no suppression. This difference must be understood.

Only man can fall below nature; no animal can fall below nature. There are no abnormal animals. Sometimes animals also become abnormal, but only when they are with men – never alone. A dog can go abnormal, a horse can go abnormal, but never alone, never in their natural state. They can go abnormal with man, with man’s society. They can go abnormal in a zoo.

Man can fall down below nature. This may seem unfortunate. This is not, because this capacity comes with another capacity: man can transcend nature. No animal can transcend nature. The higher you can go than nature, the lower you can go also, in the same proportion. Every possibility is a double possibility. Every possibility opens two doors that are diametrically opposite. Unless you can fall below nature, you cannot transcend above it. And if you have the capacity to transcend nature, you will have the capacity to fall below it also.

Animals are just natural; they are neither perverted nor are they transformed. Never do they become sub-animal and never do they become super-animal. They are just animal. Man is a flexible potentiality. He can fall below nature, can be perverted, can become mad. He can transcend nature, can become superhuman, can become a Buddha.

Another thing: animals are born with their nature. In a way they are born perfect. An animal is born developed. Man is born without any nature and is not developed at the time of birth. He develops later. Then many possibilities open, and there is a great range of possibilities. Marl is born undeveloped – not only mentally, but even bodily he is born undeveloped. No animal child is born with an undeveloped body; the body is complete. That’s why, when the animal child is born, he is capable of living even without parents.

But man’s child is born undeveloped, and even in the physiological structure many things develop only after he is born – and it takes years. In the mother’s womb he is not completely developed, and because of that, the phenomenon of mother is born – because mothering continues. If the child is born completely developed, then there will be no mothering. The whole institution of the family developed – and, consequently, the whole society – the whole society was born because the child is born undeveloped. He has to be looked after, taken care of. Only after twenty years will he really be out of the womb. In these twenty years, he will need a family, loving care, a society, in which to develop This will be a greater womb.

Even when he is physically complete, mentally he is not. He will have to develop his mind. And, really, the average mind is never beyond fourteen years of age. The average mind remains below thirteen and a half. The average mental age is thirteen and a half. A person who is physically seventy is mentally thirteen and a half. The mind remains in such a primitive, primary state! Body becomes complete, mind remains incomplete, and spirit is not even touched. Man dies without ever having evolved any spirit.

Whenever someone asked Gurdjieff, “Have we souls?” he would say, “No! Sometimes it happens that a man has a soul. Sometimes only does it happen.” Gurdjieff would say, “only sometimes, rarely does it happen that a man has a soul. You are not even complete minds, so how can you have a soul?”

A body incomplete cannot have a mind, an incomplete mind cannot have a soul, and an incomplete soul cannot realize the Divine. Really, body works as a womb for the mind, and mind works as a womb for the spirit, then spirit works as a womb for God. So man is not born fixed, complete. He is born only as a multi-potentiality, and he can fall down – below nature. He can be more animalistic than any animal and he can be a superhuman being also, he can be just Divine. This range of possibilities is there.

Now you can do two things. If your mind becomes negative, suppressive, you go on fighting things which are not “good”. So you fight sex, you fight anger, you fight greed, you fight jealousy, you fight violence – you go on fighting. But when a person is fighting violence, he will never be non-violent, because to fight violence one needs to be violent.

You cannot fight violence without being violent, so your so-called nonviolent saints are all violent – deeply violent. Of course, their violence is not against others: their violence is against themselves. So no one objects; you can even applaud them. They are against themselves – very violent! You cannot fight violence. How can you fight violence without being violent? How can you fight anger without being angry? The very attitude to fight anger is a subtle anger. The very fight means you are angry. You are not at ease with your anger.

You can take a negative attitude, and you can go on fighting with things which are there. The more you fight them, the more you become like them. A person fighting sex will become sexual. His every gesture will become sexual. His sitting, his standing, his walking, will become sexual. He will be so much obsessed with fighting it that everything will take the tinge and color of sex.

When you fight with something, you have to use the techniques of your enemy. If you want to win, you have to use the same techniques that your enemy is using. So even if you win in the end, you will not win because the techniques will be the same. Really, you will have been defeated. Fight with anger, and if you are defeated then anger will be there. If you win, then also there will be anger. Only anger will have won against anger.

This negative fight will narrow down your consciousness more and more, and you will become afraid of everything. A negative mind is always in fear. Everything becomes a sin, and everything creates guilt, and everything creates fear. You are just in a deep escape from everything. Your consciousness will be narrowed down; it will not expand. You will become so much afraid that you will just hide within yourself, and everywhere around will be all the enemies. You have created them because you became negative.

This is suppression, and you will end in a madhouse. Everything that you have suppressed you will have to suppress continuously. The fight will be so continuous that you will not be able to do anything else. If you are fighting sex, then it will be enough – your whole life will be just a fight. If you are fighting greed, then it will be enough; even greed itself will not take so much energy as the fight with greed. Sex will not take so much energy, it will not dissipate so much energy, as fighting with sex – because sex is just natural, and the fight creates negativity: whenever you are negative, you only dissipate energy. Nothing is gained, nothing creative is achieved. You become self-destructive.

So always remember never to be negative; then there will be no suppression. But I have told you that to go against the current is the way for the mind to flow upward. What do I mean by going against the current? The difference is very subtle, but once felt, you can never lose the track.

For example, you are swimming in a river against the current. Two are the possibilities: one, you are just fighting the river, just fearful of being taken away by the river – taken down, taken in the flow – just afraid, trembling, fighting against the river. Then you will be defeated because this very attitude of fear of being taken away, of this trembling mind, cannot win. The defeat has set in How long will you be able to fight the current? The whole attitude is negative, and the river is very much positive, lifelike. But you are just fear and trembling. How can you win? Sooner or later, you will dissipate energy in the fight, and the current will take you away.

There is a second point, another dimension: you are not fighting the river because you are not fearful of it.

The first thing: fight is created because of fear. Remember, fight means fear. Fear comes first, then you begin to fight Your fear creates fight, your fear creates the foe. So basically, fear is at the root.

The second point: you are not fighting the river because you are not fearful of the river. You are not fearful of the river because you know that this is just natural that the river flows downward. Even if you flow downward, there is no guilt. It is natural. Even if you flow downward, it is not a defeat. It is a defeat only if you fight – then it becomes defeat. It is just natural: the river flows downward, and you flow with it. You can even enjoy it. You can feel the bliss of the flowing river – without any effort, just moving with the current, and the current takes you away. You can even conserve energy by flowing down naturally.

So the first thing: don’t be fearful of a downward flow don’t be fearful! Remember, it is natural, and it is better to flow with the current than to be defeated and taken away – because then the whole thing will lose the bliss that is possible naturally. So the first thing: to be natural is not a sin. Remember, because only then can whole effort become positive; otherwise, it will be negative.

To be natural is not a sin. Of course, it is not enough – mm? – that is another thing. But it is not a sin. If you are flowing naturally, that is okay. As far as it goes, it is okay. It is not a sin, it is not a guilt, it is not immoral – it is just healthy. But I say it is not enough. It is not enough because your possibilities are still more. They are not just to be healthy. You can be holy also.  So don’t be in fear – first thing. Don’t be in condemnation of nature, and then the negative attitude will not be there.

Now: don’t fight the current – play with the current. You are not fighting the river really; you are just training yourself to go upward. Feel the difference: you are not fighting the river – you are just filled with an abundance, you are just filled with energy and training the energy to go upward. Now the river is not an enemy. Rather, it is a friend, because it gives you the opportunity to go up, to play with it. Now the fight is not a fight at all. It is a game; it is a play. And the river is not your enemy, it is a situation. Life is a situation; it is not an enemy. Nature is a situation; it is not an enemy – it is an opportunity.

So try to train your inner energy to flow upward. You are not really concerned with the river going downward. You are concerned with a different river of energy going upward. Your mind is basically concerned with the inner energy which can go upward.

Feel thankful for the river – because it gives you a background, it gives you an opportunity, it helps you, it cooperates with you. You can weigh yourself only through its current. You can feel yourself only because the river is going downward. The feeling that you can go upward even when the river is flowing down gives you a very different quality of confidence – you can go upward. And now, even if you relax and flow with the river, you know very well that you can go upward. Now even this downward flow with the river is not a defeat. You have known something – something different from nature.

If you have glimpsed something different from nature even for a single moment, then you have known your potentiality. You may achieve it, you may not achieve it, but now you are not just part of the downward flow – the upward flow is possible. Now it will depend on you. You will be the decisive factor, not the downward current. Now there is no enmity! If the river flows downward, it is okay. You need not flow, you need not fight, you need not be in fear. You can go up.

Ultimately, there is another possibility in which tantra has gone very deep. Tantra says there is a possibility when you flow downward with the river and still you flow upward. Then only your body is carried away. How can the river carry you away? It can carry only the body. Tantra tried to create many downward rivers. So go into the river, feel the downward flow, flow with it, and remember constantly that you are not flowing.

I was saying that by fighting with sex you may be obsessed with sex totally. There is another possibility: even going deeply in sex, you may not be sexual at all. But that possibility opens only when your effort becomes positive. This is what I mean by positive effort against the current. It is not really against the current; it is for the consciousness. The current is being used just as an opportunity – just to weigh yourself, just to find yourself out – just to feel the upward, the downward is needed. The more forceful the current, the more forceful will be the feeling of the upward. So use nature as an opportunity, not as an enemy. Use instincts as friends, not as enemies They are friends. Only through your ignorance can you make them enemies. They are friends!

When someone reaches the original source, the peak of the river from where the river comes down, one is just thankful – thankful towards the river, grateful towards the river, because it is only through the river that he could achieve the source. So when someone reaches the peak of consciousness, one is thankful to every instinct – because they all helped, they all created the situation, they all created the opportunity. And they were flowing in the opposite direction. So their opposite flow is not really against you; the river is not against you. You can be against the river, and if you are against the river then you will never win. The greater possibility is that you may become perverted.

So use nature to transcend it. When you see there is anger, don’t fight anger directly. Weigh yourself, feel the energy, transcend the anger. Anger is there: remain silent, feel anger and feel yourself and weigh yourself – begin to flow upward. Take it as a play. Don’t be serious! Seriousness is a disease. If you take everything negatively, then you will be serious. Then everything disturbs you: “Why is there anger? Why is there greed? Why this? Why that?” Everything disturbs you and you become serious.

But our so-called saints are very serious. Really, I cannot conceive how a saint can be serious. He can only be playful. The seriousness shows he has been fighting. A soldier, of course, is bound to be serious. A saint need not be, must not be. Really, it disqualifies him from being a saint. A saint must be playful because nothing is against him – everything is for him. He can use everything for himself.

When I say, “effort against the current”, I mean play against the current – play! Try! See what you can do. The current is flowing downward. Can you flow upward? The anger is there. Someone has insulted you; the button has been pushed. Can you remain non-angry? Just play – play with the situation; don’t be serious. The moment you become serious, you become angry, really. Anger is very serious. Be playful, laugh, and see that the anger has been put on, that the conditioned mind has been put on. The anger is boiling there. Now, swim against the current. Take it as a play and see whether it is possible that someone has insulted you. the anger has been created in the metabolism. Can you still swim beyond it? Don’t fight it!

That’s why I say the difference is very subtle. Standing on the bank you cannot feel the difference – unless you have been in the river and experienced both. You are standing on the bank, and someone is fighting the river, and someone is just playing with the river, going upward. What difference can you see from the bank? Only one: one will be serious and the other will be playful – nothing else.

One who is in fear, afraid, fighting, will be serious – dead serious. How can he laugh? How can he play? If the current pushes him, he will feel defeated. The other one who is playing will not be serious at all. He can laugh: he can laugh with the river, he can laugh with the waves. And if the current pushes him down he will not feel defeated – he will try again. He will not be serious. Rather, he will begin to love the river because it pushes. He will begin to love the river! The difference will be inner, qualitative.

Suppression is a serious disease. Transforming oneself is a play – it is not serious at all. It is sincere. but never serious. It is authentic, but never serious. The quality of playfulness always remains there. It is the very spirit. With positivity you are creating something inside. The outward is just an opportunity; the inside creation is the thing. The emphasis is on something else. It is not on fighting the river: the emphasis is on the upward flow.

For example, I am writing something on a blackboard. I use a blackboard, but I write with white chalk, because on a blackboard the white chalk becomes clear in contrast. I can write on a white wall also. The writing will be there, but it will be as if it is not because the contrast will not be there. So the blackboard is not against the white chalk. It is not the enemy: it is the friend. Only when they are against it do the white lines become more white. On a white wall they will just lose themselves, they will be nowhere.

So who is the enemy – the white wall or the blackboard? Who is the enemy? The white wall is the enemy because you lose. The blackboard is not the enemy. Really, it is the friend. On it, the white becomes more white and clear and apparent. But when I am writing on a blackboard my emphasis, my intention is not to destroy the blackboard. Rather, my intention is to make the white lines clear. If you are trying to destroy the blackboard, then the blackboard is the enemy. See the difference: if you are trying to destroy the blackboard by whitewashing it, then you will feel the blackboard as the enemy.

You can whitewash it; then there will be a fight. But when you are writing something on it, your emphasis is not on the blackboard. Really, you never remember it, you need not remember it. It is not even in your awareness; it is only on the fringe. You write: the emphasis is on writing, not on destroying the blackboard. You remember what you are writing, and the blackboard helps. It never obstructs you.

So your emphasis must be on what you are trying to achieve. not on what you are against. If you are trying to achieve love, then be positively concerned with love, not with destroying hate. You can never destroy it! You will not be able to destroy hate. But the moment love is there, the whole energy is transformed. It begins to flow “lovewards”.

Don’t be negative about your energies, instincts, about anything. Be positive. And when you are positively creating something, be playful. It is your nature. Why fight it? you have created it. It is your effort. You wanted to create it, so you have created it. You have chosen it; it is your freedom. If you are angry, it is your choice – so why be against it? It is your choice! For lives and lives you have used anger, so it is there. Why be angry against it? No one has chosen it except you. So whatsoever you are, you are your own creation.

So it is nonsense to think in terms of negativity. Rather, feel that if you can create such a madman inside of you, then, really, you are capable of many things. If you can create such a hell, why not a heaven? But don’t be concerned with the hell. Be concerned with heaven and begin to create it. When the heaven is created you will not find the hell. It will have disappeared completely because it exists only as a negative, it exists only as an absence.

Because there is no heaven, hell has to be. Because there is no love, hate has to be. Because there is no light, darkness is there. Don’t fight with darkness: create the light, be concerned with the creation of light. When the light is there, where will the darkness be then? But you can fight directly. Don’t think about the light at all and begin to fight darkness directly. But no matter what you do, the darkness will never be destroyed. On the contrary, you may be destroyed in the fight. How can you fight darkness directly? It is an absence. Darkness only means that the light is not. So, please, create light.

The river is flowing downward, and you are flowing with it because you don’t know the upward flow. You have not known it: that is the only thing. Once you know it, all the rivers may flow downward, but you cannot flow downward. Then go with the river to the very sea, and you will not go downward.

It is difficult to sense the difference. That’s why so much suppression is in the world. No one has taught it – everyone has understood it. No one has taught it – neither a Buddha nor a Mahavir nor a Jesus nor a Krishna. This is a miracle. No one has taught suppression because no one can. It is absolute nonsense! But everyone has suppressed, and everyone is suppressing – because the difference is so subtle that whenever transformation starts, suppression is understood.

Whenever a teacher is born who begins to talk about transformation, followers gather who begin to understand about suppression – because it is so delicate, so delicate that unless you experience it there is every possibility you will misunderstand it. So try to experience it. The primary requirement: Don’t be against anything – be for! Be for something! Don’t be against something!

Really, when you are against something your future is not open. Only when you are for something does your future open. When you are against something you are clinging to the past. You can never be against the future. How can you be against the future? You can only be against the past. So let it be understood in this dimension also: when you are against, you are against the past. You are fighting with death. The past is no more, so why fight it? Create the future; be for something. Then you become positive.

There are two types of freedom: one is from something and one is for something. A young man is fighting with his parents to be free; he goes hippie. Then for some time the fight continues. The parents cannot do anything, and they forget. Then for the first time the boy begins to feel, “What to do?” because he was only against. The freedom was from the parents. It was not leading anywhere; it was not for something. It was just against something. […]

Life will be a boredom if you are always against and never for. Never be against: be always for. So when I say, “against the current”. I mean for something, for the peak. Sex is not bad, but the peak is better. So never think in terms of bad and good. Always think in terms of good and better. Mm? The bad must be thrown out; it must not be given any status in the mind. Always think in terms of good and better and better. Life is that.

Once you create good and bad, soon the good will drop and bad and worse and worse will follow. So nothing is bad, but better things are possible. Always remember, and struggle for better things. Then you have a positive flow.

-Osho

From The Ultimate Alchemy, V.1, Discourse #8, Q1

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

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The Upward Flow of the Mind – Osho

Unmani bhaavah paddyam.

The upward flow of the mind is paddyam – the water of divine worship.

The mind is the bridge between matter and consciousness, between without and within, between the gross and the subtle. When I say mind is the bridge, I mean many things. Man comes to the world through mind; man comes to the body through mind; man comes to desires through mind. So wherever you reach, the reaching is always through the mind. If you create a hell for yourself, you create it through mind. If you create a heaven, that also is through mind.

One of the Zen patriarchs, Hui-Hai, has said, “Mind is heaven and mind is hell.” So whatsoever you are or whatsoever you can be, it will depend ultimately on how your mind works. This working can create something for you which is not; this working can reveal to you that which is. So a mind can create a very illusionary world around it: it is capable. It can dream, and it can dream so real that you cannot even detect that whatsoever is seen and perceived is not real.

So mind has a projective force; it can project. That which is not, mind can create. And because mind can create that which is not, it can forget that which is. It can just be in such a state that the reality is never in any contact with it; and whatsoever happens, it depends only on the mind. So the mind has to be taken as the root of everything that one can experience. Even if one has to know the Divine, one has to go through mind. Of course, that going is difficult because that going implies dropping of the mind. Even if dropping of the mind is needed, it is through mind – because unless you drop the mind you will never be able to know the true.

Mind is everywhere, either positively or negatively. Whatsoever you are doing – creating an illusory world or discovering the real creating a madness for yourself or creating a meditative state – it is all through mind. Wherever you go, you go through the bridge of the mind. Even if you have to come to yourself, it will be through mind. Of course, the coming will be negative; you will have to negate mind. You will have to come back, and the same steps will have to be taken – only the direction will be different. If I go from my home, there are steps which lead me away. If I am returning back, the same steps will lead me back – only the direction will be different. So if you can understand how mind goes out, you know that the same path is to be followed back.

Secondly, in Indian symbology, “upward” is synonymous with “inward”, and “downward” is synonymous with “outward”. When we say “upward” we mean inward; they both mean the same. The more inward you go, the more upward; the more outward you go, the more downward. These two are different symbols. The Chinese mind has always used “downward” as synonymous with “inward”, and “upward” as synonymous with “outward”. So whenever Lao Tzu would speak, he would never use “upward”; he would say, “Come downward,” and by down he means come within. So the within for Lao Tzu is just like an abyss: you fall in.

Indian symbology is different. We use upward for inward. For us the inward is not like an abyss, it is like a peak. Both can be used because symbols are just symbols, they indicate; more than that is meaningless. So it has always been a problem. The Upanishads always talk of upward, and the symbol is fire – fire constantly running upward. For Lao Tzu and Taoists, water is the symbol – water running downward, finding the most downward position possible. It can rest only when the deepest abyss has been found. But fire will rest only with the sun. It will go upward, upward, to the invisible upwardness.

There is no contradiction. Really, whenever persons like Lao Tzu or Zarathustra or Jesus speak, they may use contradictory terms but they are never contradictory. They cannot be, that is impossible. So if their words are contradictory, that only shows their type, their choice, their individuality, their way of saying things – nothing more. But pundits, scholars, can make much out of these apparent contradictions. And whenever we are talking about the Absolute, the Ultimate, one thing must be understood very clearly: you can use either of the extremes to express it, and each extreme is as valid as the other.

For example, the Upanishads use for the Divine the word “Absolute”. This is one extreme, that of positivity – the Perfect, the Absolute. Buddha uses for that same state and the same realization, “Nothingness” – the other extreme. Totally opposite as far as words go, but as far as the realization is concerned, they both mean the same. But it created much confusion.

Buddha appeared to be absolutely contradictory to the Hindu mind. He was not. He was one of the purest Hindus possible, but he used a negative word. That was his liking, and it is good not to discuss likings – because one is as valid or as invalid as the other. Both can be used. Either you say “the infinite” or you say “the zero” – both are infinite. If you take it in the beginning, it is zero. If you take it in the end, it is infinite. Both mean the same thing.

Just like this, Buddha and Mahavir, both contemporaries, used very contradictory language. Mahavir says, “To know the Self is the ultimate knowledge, the wisdom. To know the Self is the wisdom.” And Buddha says, “To believe in the self is the only ignorance.” Mahavir says, “Only the Self is,” and Buddha says, “Only the self is the deception, the most false thing.” Nothing can be more contradictory, so Jains and Buddhists have been fighting constantly for twenty-five centuries. But the whole conflict is based just on linguistic fallacies – because Mahavir uses the word “Self”, negating everything of the ego in it. He says, “You become the Self when there is no ego.” So really, “Self” becomes just like “no-self”. If there is no ego, the Self becomes just like no-self. And Buddha uses the “self” as the ego and he says the self means the ego, so the most perfect ego means “the self”. Then the meaning becomes clear. So both are right. When Buddha says, “To believe in a self is to be ignorant,” he is right. And Mahavir is also right when he says, “To know the Self is the ultimate wisdom.” The contradiction is just apparent.

Lao Tzu says, “To go down to the last is to reach the basic Existence.” He begins from the beginning: “Drop down back to the very beginning, to the original source. The original source is deep down.” The Upanishads say, “Go up to the last where the peak is achieved.” Lao Tzu says, “Go down to the original source,” and the Upanishads say, “Go up to the ultimate possibility, to the very end. Achieve the potentiality to the very end; make the potentiality absolutely actual.” The beginning and end are not two separate things. Really, no end can end unless it reaches again to the beginning. And the beginning begins only where the end ends.

Life moves in a circle, so if you begin a circle, the point of beginning will be the point of the ending also. Life moves in a circle, so you can say the same point is the beginning and the end both. So the upward is not contradictory to the downward. The Lao Tzuan downward and the Upanishadic upward – both mean the same. Only the words differ.

If we can penetrate to the meaning beyond the words, only then can we conceive of and comprehend these minds. These minds are living in such experiences which cannot really be expressed through ordinary words. But they have to use ordinary words, so they can use only ordinary words with a very different meaning, with a very different connotation. So one thing more: when the Upanishads say upward, remember, it is the same as inward. The more you go in, the more up, and vice versa: the more up you go, the more in. What is this upwardness or inwardness? And why should the sutra say that this upward flow of the mind is the only water by which you can worship the feet of the Divine? So many things are implied. One is that it is useless to use just water – it is useless!

Al-hillaj Mansoor, a Sufi mystic, was killed. When his hands were cut, blood began to flow, and he used that blood as Mohammedans use water for wazu – cleaning the body before going to the worship. They use water, but Mansoor used blood. And when he made the gesture of wazu, someone asked from the crowd, “Mansoor, have you gone mad? What are you doing?”

Mansoor said, “For the first time I am doing wazu, cleaning myself with my own blood – because how can you clean yourself with water?”

He gives a deeper significance. Really, he means that unless you die, how can you purify yourself for the prayer? Wazu through blood means dying. Only dying can be a real cleansing, a real purity. And when you die, you become able to pray. Unless you die, you cannot pray. So the courage to die becomes a basic requirement for prayer.

This sutra says, “The upward flow of the mind is the water for the Divine feet.” No other water will do. It goes even deeper than Mansoor’s blood, because blood is not so deep – it is only skin-deep. You can do wazu with your blood; it is not so deep yet. But the upward flowing mind is the deepest possibility, for two reasons: basically, the mind is downward flowing; basically, the trend is to flow downward because it is easy. The downward flow is always easy. The upward needs effort; the upward needs a fight with the gravitation; the upward means austerity. You cannot flow upward – unless you change your nature completely. It is a transformation! The downward flow is but natural, it is in the very nature of things. So mind has a downward flow naturally.

Think of it in this way: if you want to think and concentrate on the Divine, you will feel much difficulty. The mind will be wavering constantly. You will not be able to concentrate even for a single moment, really. It will be going here and there. Concentration will not be possible, contemplation will not be possible, meditation will not be possible. Mind will not be ready. Even with much effort, you will find it is not coming to the Divine, towards the Divine. But think of sex, and mind is absorbed. No need to concentrate – it concentrates. No need to make any effort – mind flows easily.

Really, we don’t know anything else except sex by which we can understand what concentration means. So it happens always that whenever a person can concentrate on any other thing, sex will not be a problem for him – whenever! Even if he is just a scientist, a research-worker, working in his lab, if he can concentrate on his work then sex will not be a problem in his life at all. But if you cannot concentrate on anything else, then your mind will be flowing through the channel of sex constantly.

One thing must be understood: when you are thinking about sex, you are totally absorbed. There is no wavering. You even forget that you are thinking about sex – you may remember afterwards. Even this much wavering is not there. You forget that you are different and that this procession of sexual thoughts and images is different. You become one with them. This is what is meant when bhaktas say, “the constant remembering of the Divine – without you, without ‘I’.” The same phenomenon occurs, only the object changes. It is not sex now; the object becomes Divine. And unless the Divine becomes as absorbing as sex is naturally, you cannot flow upward.

So the upward flow is an effort: you have to pull yourself together for it. The downward flow is easy. That’s why, whenever you feel tense, sex becomes a relaxation, a relief – because every tension means that you have been pulling yourself together towards something which is not natural. Then if you can relax to the downward flow, you will feel a relief. So in the West particularly, sex has become just a relief – just a relief from tensions. It is, and it is because when you flow downward no effort is needed. So sex is used by many, really by ninety-nine percent of people, as a tranquillizer. If you move in sex then you can sleep well. Why? Because when the mind is flowing downward your whole body is relaxed. Unless you are relaxed m the same way when your mind is going upward, you are not a religious person at all.

That is the difference between a secular mind and a religious mind. A secular mind is at ease with downward flowing, relaxed. A religious mind is only relaxed when upward flowing. Whenever a religious mind has to flow downward, it becomes tense. Ultimately, when the upward flow is achieved, the same effort will be needed to flow downward – even more effort, because upwardness, even when arduous, is still upwardness, and downwardness. even with no effort, is downwardness. And when one has to come down with effort, the effort becomes a thousandfold more arduous.

For a person like Ramakrishna, even to eat is an effort. For a person like Buddha, even to move is an effort, even to be in the body is an effort. This effort means that the whole nature has become transformed. That which was downward before has now become upward, and that which was upward before has become downward. A religious mind flows upward as if the upwardness has just become downwardness. Meera is at ease when she is dancing and singing for Krishna, but when her husband Rana is there, she is not at ease, because Rana now is a downward flow. This upward flow is bound to be an effort for us. Unless you will it, you will not achieve it.

Now, again, you will find a conflict between Tao and the Upanishads. Lao Tzu says, “Effortlessness is the means,” and the Upanishads says, “Effort, total effort, is the means.” When Lao Tzu says “effortlessness”, he means be so still that not a single movement is there, because any effort is a movement, any effort is a tension, any effort means that you are outside. So when Lao Tzu says “effortlessness”, he is using it to mean an absolutely relaxed state of mind – do not do anything.

It is not so easy. It is as difficult as the upward flow – rather, even more difficult, because we can understand terms which imply doing, but we cannot understand terms which imply non-doing. Non-doing for us is more arduous, but both are arduous, and both try through different ways to achieve the same point. If you become totally effortless, you achieve your innermost center – because you cannot move! When there is no movement you will drop down, down, down to the center. Every peripheral event is an effort. When there is no effort, you will be down in your ultimate center.

The Upanishads again use a different way which is, of course, in logical relationship with their concept of upwardness. They say absolute effort is needed. When you make an absolute effort, you will become more tense, more tense, more tense, and there will come a moment when you will be nothing but tension. You will be nothing but tension! Then there is nothing further. The ultimate has been achieved. Now you are just a tension. When this climax comes, suddenly you will fall from the climax. You cannot go further; you have come to the last limit. The tension has come to its ultimate, the maximum; it cannot go further. When tension comes to a total climax, you suddenly relax and you reach the point which is meant by Tao, by Lao Tzu – effortlessness. You come to the center.

So there are two ways: either relax directly as Tao implies or relax indirectly as the Upanishads say. Create the tension to its ultimate, and then there will be relaxation. And I think the Upanishads are more helpful, because we are tense and we understand the meaning, the language, the ways of tension. Tell someone suddenly to relax and he cannot. Even relaxation becomes a new tension for him. I have seen a book which is entitled You Must Relax. The very “must” will create tension. The word is anti-relaxation – “must”. It becomes hard work: you must relax. So try now to relax, and your very effort to relax will create more tensions. The title should rather be You Must Not Relax, if you want to relax.

Relaxation cannot come directly to us. We are tense, so much tense. Relaxation doesn’t mean anything; we have not known it. Lao Tzu is right, but to follow him is very difficult. And it looks simple. Always remember – whenever something looks very simple it must be very complex, because in this world the most simple is the most complex. And because it looks simple you may deceive yourself. So I can say, “Just relax!” – it will not happen.

I was working for ten years continuously with Lao Tzuan methods, so I was continuously teaching direct relaxation. It was simple for me so I thought it would be simple for everyone. Then. by and by, I become aware that it is impossible. I was in a fallacy: it was not possible. I would say, “Relax!” to those I was teaching. They would appear to understand the meaning of the word, but they could not relax. Then I had to devise new methods for meditation which create tension first – more tension. They create such tension that you become just mad. And then I say, “Relax.”

When you have come up to the climax, your whole body. your whole mind, becomes hungry for relaxation. With so much tension, you want to stop, and I go on pushing you to continue, continue to the very end. Do whatsoever you can do to create tensions, and then, when you stop you just fall down from the peak into a deep abyss. The abyss is the end, the effortlessness is the end, but the Upanishads use tension as the means.

So be effortful to flow upward. Really, to use the word “flow” is not good because flow means downward. How can you flow upward? You have to struggle. To flow upward means a struggle, constant struggle. A moment is missed, and you will find you are downward. For a moment you stop the struggle, and you will be flowing downward. It is a constant struggle against the current. So now understand what the current is and against what current you have to struggle upward.

Your habits are the current, long habits, habits generated by many, many lives; not only human lives – animal lives, vegetable lives. You are not isolated; you are part of a long succession, and every habit is just engrained. You have been flowing downward continuously for millennia, so it has become a deep habit. Really, it has become your nature. You don’t know any other nature. You know only one nature which goes down and down and down. This downwardness is the current, and every cell of the body, every atom of the mind is just part of a long, long succession of habits. They are so deep that we don’t even remember from where they came. […]

This is the current. When you are violent, you alone are not violent: your whole history is violent. When you are sexual, you alone are not sexual: the whole history is sexual, the whole succession. That’s why it has so much force. You are just a dead leaf in a big current.

So what to do so that you can go upward against the current? What to do?

Three things to be done: one, whenever mind begins to flow downward, become aware as early as possible – as early as possible! Someone has insulted you. For you to become angry, a little time is needed because it is a mechanism. You will get angry, but after a gap. Things will happen like a flash. First you will feel insulted. The moment you feel insulted, the second current will begin to flow: you will become angry. At first the anger will not be conscious; first it will be just like a fever. Then it will become conscious. Then you will begin to express or suppress it.

So when I say, “the earlier the better”, I mean when someone insults you, become aware as soon as you begin to feel that you have been insulted. And whenever you become aware, just make an effort to stop. Don’t fall into the automatic track even for a single moment. Even a single moment’s stop will help much. Longer stops will help even more.

When Gurdjieff’s father was dying, he called his boy. He was just nine, and Gurdjieff remembered the incident all his life. The father called him. He was the youngest child and the father said, “I am so poor, I cannot give you anything, my boy. But one thing which my father gave to me I can give you. You may not even be able to understand what it means now, because I myself was not able to understand what it meant when my father gave it to me. But it proved the most precious thing in my life, so I am just giving it to you. Preserve it! Someday you may begin to understand it.”

So Gurdjieff just listened. The father said, “Whenever you feel angry, never reply before twenty-four hours. Reply, but let there be a gap of twenty-four hours.”

Gurdjieff followed his dying father’s advice. It became deeply impressed in his mind the very day his father died, and Gurdjieff said, “I have practiced many, many, many spiritual exercises, but that was the best. I never could be angry in my life, and that changed the whole flow, the whole current, because I had to stick to the promise. Whenever someone would insult me, I would create something, some situation. I would just tell him that I would come back after twenty-four hours to reply, and I have never replied because it proved such nonsense to reply.” Only a gap was needed. And the whole life of George Gurdjieff became something different.

So even if you can begin with one thing in the current, you will begin to change the whole. Really, this is one of the basic truths of esoteric religion: that you cannot change a part unless you change the whole. And it works both ways. Either you change the whole, then the part will change; or you change even a single part totally and the whole will follow – because they are so integratedly related.

So begin anywhere. Find out your chief characteristic. Find out the chief characteristic for you: that which is most forceful, which you cannot resist, that which tempts you and causes you to go down. It may be sadness, it may be anger, it may be greed, it may be anything. Find out your chief characteristic, your weakness. And begin with the stronger one, then the weaker ones can be won very easily. Begin with the strongest. If anger is the strongest begin with anger. First, when you feel that you have been insulted, you have been rejected, you have been hindered – anything which creates anger – just when you feel that “Now the first step has been taken and I am feeling insulted,” stop for a moment. Don’t breathe; just stop the breath wherever it is. If it is out, let it be out. If it is in, let it be in. Stop breathing for a moment, then release the breath. Go in, and find out whether you have missed the thing, or it is still there.

You will have missed it. The connection is missed. You will have given a gap to the automatic working. Somewhere you have disjointed the mechanism, and breathing is wonderful to disjoin anything. Just stop breathing, and there is a disjoining inside. Your feeling insulted and the mechanism of anger will not be joined. And if they are missed even for a single moment, they are missed. Your mechanism will never know that you have been insulted.

The earlier this happens, the better. There are even earlier stages – they belong to the other, not to you. When the other is insulting you, before feeling insulted look at him and feel that he is angry. Stop your breath and look at him again, and you will not be insulted. He will insult you, but you will not be insulted. You will not feel insulted because again there comes a gap. This gap is between him and you. Now he cannot cross this gap; he cannot insult you. He will insult, but somewhere he has missed you. You are not the target now. For him you are the target, but actually you are not. You can laugh, and if you laugh it is better.

So first create a gap. Second: do something which is ordinarily never done in such situations. When someone is insulting, no one laughs, no one smiles, no one thanks, no one hugs, embraces. Do something which is never done! Then you are against the current, because the current is always that which is done, that which is usually done. This is what the current means. Be unusual! Someone is beating you: laugh and feel the difference – not only in those who are beating you, but within yourself. If you can laugh, you will feel totally different. Try it – something absurd. Then you disconnect the whole mechanism, you confuse the whole mechanism, because the mechanism cannot understand what is happening. A mechanism is just a mechanism. It may be very deep rooted, but it is mechanical; it has no consciousness. So confuse your animal. Don’t allow him to push and pull and manipulate. Confuse the animal! The more you confuse him, the less powerful he becomes – and by “animal” I mean your past.

This is a rare experiment: to do something which is never done. When you are happy, do something which is never done in happiness: be sad, act sad, be angry, act angry. Confuse the mechanism. Just don’t allow the mechanism to know everything that is to be done. Don’t allow, and within a year your mechanism will be at a loss. Someone will be insulting, and your mechanism will not know at all what to do. You have broken from your past. So try! Every moment can be an experiment, and you will feel a sudden change in your consciousness. When someone is insulting you, laugh and feel what is happening inside – something new you have never known. […]

Become unpredictable: this is the second thing. If you are predictable, you are a thing, not a person. The more unpredictable, the more you are not a thing – not just a thing among things. You become a person. So the second thing against the current: be unpredictable. Sometimes be absurd. Just don’t try to be logical because the current is logical. Remember this: the current is very logical – strictly logical. Everything is related. You insult me: I am angry. You appreciate me: I am happy. You call me good, and I am one way; and you call me bad, and I am different. Everything is predictable, it is logical.

Really, if you are angry and I don’t reply to you with anger, you will feel something strange has happened. You will not be at ease. You will not be at ease because something illogical has come in. We live in a logical world. This current is very logical, mathematical; everything is fixed. Unfix it! Disturb it! Create a chaos! Create an inner anarchy! Only then can you throw the animal heritage. Animals are predictable and animals are very logical. To transcend them you must have the courage to be illogical, and that is the deepest courage – to be illogical. […]

Really, if you can understand, life is illogical, death is illogical, love is illogical, God is illogical, and all that is logical is just marketplace. In this life everything that is meaningful, significant, deep, ultimate, is illogical. So create an illogical-ness inside. Don’t be too logical – then you can break. Logic is the foundation of your old mind, your traditional mind. Illogic should be the beginning of the new mind.

And, thirdly, whenever you feel convenience, comfort, easiness, be alert: the mind is flowing downward. So don’t ask for inner comfort, otherwise you will be lost. Don’t ask for inner convenience, otherwise you will be lost. Whenever you feel everything is okay, be alert, you are flowing downward – because nothing is okay really. So whenever you feel that everything is okay, nothing is to be done and everything is just flowing, everything is good, remember, you are flowing downward. Be aware of inner conveniences. And when I say “comfort and convenience,” I mean inner ones. Outwardly it makes no difference – you may be in comfort outwardly – but inwardly never allow comfort to set in.

That’s why no one remembers religion when he feels happy. When you feel sorrow, when you feel sadness, when you feel misery, you begin to think about religion. Inconvenience inside must be used. So two things: first remember always that the downward flow is very convenient. Don’t be a victim to it. Always create some inner inconvenience. This is tap – inner inconvenience. This is tap – this is austerity. What do I mean by inner inconvenience?

You are sleeping, relaxed: create an inner inconvenience. Let the body relax, but don’t relax the alertness. Sufis have used vigil, night vigil, as an inner inconvenience. The whole night they will be on vigil. In India, sleep was never used, really – food and hunger were used as inner inconveniences. The hunger is there: don’t take food. The hunger is there: remember it, be aware of it, and yet be away from it. An inner inconvenience is created. The mind has a habit to fall for the convenience, so create any inner inconvenience. And always go on changing, because if you are fixed to one thing it will not be an inconvenience for long.

You can even become fixed to your fasting, then it becomes a convenience rather than an inconvenience, because to take food may begin to appear as an inconvenience. Once you know that the body can run without food – the body begins to feel more light, the body begins to feel more alive, the body begins to feel more vital; and the body has a built-in process so that for at least three months you can be without food, without any food – after seven or eight days, to take food will be inconvenient. So use fasting as an inconvenience, and when fasting begins to settle, use food.

Gurdjieff was strange in this. He would give you such strange foods – such strange foods you have never eaten! The whole stomach would be disturbed, and he would create inconvenience. […]

And his followers were very much afraid because he would force them to eat so much that it became a torture. From eight in the night up to twelve – four hours – would be for eating, and he would be there. He would go on forcing – no one could say no, He would force so much alcohol that ordinarily it would just make you deadly unconscious, but he would go on. He would create inner inconvenience and he would say, “Let the inconvenience be there. Remember! Be awake!” He would go on pouring alcohol, and he would say, “Remember! Remember, and be awake!”

Tantrics have used alcohol, and a real tantric can take any amount of it without being affected at all. They say, and they say rightly, that alcohol creates the deepest inconvenience inside. To fight with it and remain aware is the most arduous thing. When the alcohol goes in, and every body cell becomes lethargic, and the chemical begins to work, and the mind begins to lose consciousness, then to be aware is the most arduous tap – austerity – possible. But it is possible, and once it happens you will never be the same again.

So create any inner inconvenience. The current always helps you to be convenient: that is a trick; then you begin to flow with it. So the third thing for the upward flow of the mind is to create inward inconvenience continuously and go on changing. You can make anything a habit – go on changing. When something becomes convenient, leave it; create something new. Then, by these inconveniences, you create a crystallization inside. You become integrated, one. And for this oneness, this integration, this chemical crystallization, alchemists use the word “gold”. Now the baser metal has been changed into higher. Now you are gold. This integration is the third point to remember.

So continuously be aware that some integration must take place. No moment should be missed in which you have not tried to integrate yourself. You are walking: a moment comes when your legs give way, and they say, “Now you cannot move.” That is the point to move. Now move! Now don’t listen to the legs, and you will become aware of a subtle force – because the body has two force reservoirs. One is just ordinary, for day-to-day use. Another, a deeper one, is infinite. It is not for everyday use: it only comes into operation when some emergency is there.

You are walking: you have walked twenty miles, and now you know very well, your logic says, your mind says, every fiber of the body says that now no movement is possible – you will just drop dead. A single step more, and you will drop dead! This is the moment: now move! Don’t listen to the body! Now run! Don’t listen to the body, and suddenly there will be an upsurge of energy again. Within moments you will feel a new energy, and now you can walk for miles together. This energy comes from the reservoir, and this reservoir is connected only when the day-to-day energy source is just empty. If you listen to the body then this reservoir is never used.

You are feeling sleepy, and now you cannot even open your eyes. This is the moment. Stand! Open your eyes! Stare! Don’t blink! Forget sleep and try to be awake – and within seconds a sudden upsurge of energy will overflow. There will be no sleep. You will be fresher than you have ever been in the morning. A new morning, an inside morning has happened. A deeper source energy has come. This is how to integrate your mind and how to let it be arrowed upwards continuously.

The rishi says, “The upward flow of the mind is the water for Divine worship.” Mm? No other water will do. This constant upward flow, by this and only by this can you worship the feet of the Divine.

-Osho

From The Ultimate Alchemy, V.1, Discourse #7

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

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